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2013 Woodman Lecture

Leonara Woodman Lecture Series

The English Department is pleased to announce the 2013 Leonora Woodman Memorial Lecture, which will be presented on the afternoon of Friday, September 20, 4:30 p.m., Krannert Auditorium.  A reception will follow.

We are especially proud this year to have as our speaker Srinivas Aravamudan, Professor and Dean of the Humanities at Duke University, and one of our department’s most distinguished alumni.  He will be speaking on "The Anthropocene Sublime: Climate Change, Criticism, and Disaster Movies."

Dean Aravamudan completed his Ph.D. at Cornell University, and holds MA degrees from both Cornell and Purdue as well.   He has taught at the University of Utah, the University of Washington, and at Duke, where he joined the English department in 2000, and became director of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute.  

His scholarship works at many levels to resist simple dichotomies and unsettle the inevitability of history, enabling readers to reconstruct and re-envision the early colonial past, and to consider whether we might view something even so culturally invested as novel writing as, at heart, an act of translation.  One of today’s most dynamic thinkers in the fields of transnational and postcolonial studies, he has published widely in major journals, including Anthropological Forum, Boundary 2, Diacritics, ECS, ELH, Novel, PMLA, Social Text, and South Atlantic Quarterly.  

But Dean Aravamudan is perhaps best known for his field-changing first book, Tropicopolitans: Colonialism and Agency, 1688-1804 (Duke, 1999), winner of the outstanding first book prize of the Modern Language Association (2000).  In addition, he is the author of Guru English: South Asian Religion in a Cosmopolitan Language (Princeton, 2006), and most recently of Enlightenment Orientalism: Resisting the Rise of the Novel (Chicago, 2012).  He is the editor of the Broadview Press edition of Wiliam Earle’s Obi: Or, the History of Three-Fingered Jack (2005), and of the recent special issue of PMLA on “War” (2009).

Please join us in welcoming Srinivas Aravamudan to Purdue.

For more information, contact Nush Powell ( or Robyn Malo (



Contact information
Nush Powell, Assistant Professor of English