From Impasse to Operative
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© 2019 Cambridge University Press. Aarthi Vadde is an associate professor of English at Duke University. She is author of Chimeras of Form: Modernist Internationalism beyond Europe, 1914-2016, which was the winner of the 2018 Harry Levin Prize awarded by the ACLA. She is at work on a second monograph tentatively titled The Amateur Spirit: Contemporary Literature in the Sharing Economy and is co-editing a collection entitled The Critic as Amateur.
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Aarthi Vadde works in the field of 20th-21st century Global Anglophone literature, and is broadly interested in the relationship of literary history to computational technologies and internet culture. In 2021 she joined the editorial board of the Norton Anthology of English Literature and is co-editing Volume F: The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. She is also the co-founder of Novel Dialogue a podcast about how novels are made - and what to make of them.
Her book in progress is called “We the Platform: Contemporary Literature after Web 2.0.” In it, she considers how technical and rhetorical shifts in the formulation of the World Wide Web (from network to platform) are shaping contemporary literary culture and popular literacy practices. The book’s archive features print-based writers of fiction alongside social media upstarts, guerilla writer-publishers, fans, data artists, and engineers. Communications platforms are never neutral, and this book will show how literary works and humanistic criticism can play key roles in the dialogue on responsible computing.
Her book Chimeras of Form: Modernist Internationalism beyond Europe, 1914-2016 was published by Columbia UP in 2016 and won the ACLA's 2018 Harry Levin Prize for outstanding first book in the field of comparative literature. A forum on the book was convened by The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry. Chimeras illustrates how modernist and contemporary writers from Rabindranath Tagore to Zadie Smith reimagine the nation and internationalism in a period defined by globalization. Drawing on close readings of individual texts and on literary, postcolonial, and cosmopolitical theory, Vadde explains how modernist challenges to traditional notions of aesthetic form enable newfound understandings of the cohesion and interrelation of political communities. An interview related to the book is available here.
In addition to her monograph projects, Vadde is co-editor of a volume on the history of literary criticism entitled The Critic as Amateur (Bloomsbury Academic 2019). Read the intro here. She is also the co-editor of an open-access cluster of essays entitled Web 2.0 and Literary Criticism (Post45 Contemporaries) and the Palgrave Handbook of 20th and 21st Century Literature and Science.
Vadde joined Duke in 2011 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the English Department at Harvard University.
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