School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Professor Neelam Srivastava

Professor of Postcolonial and World Literature



D.Phil. (Oxford)

M.Phil. (Oxford)

Laurea in Lettere (Università di Roma "La Sapienza")

Previous Positions

Lecturer in Commonwealth Literature and Literary Theory, University of Cambridge


American Comparative Literature Association

School Roles

Subject Head of Literature

Chair of EDI Committee (2020-21)


Research Interests

I am interested in the cultural history of Italian imperialism, South Asian literature, anticolonial and liberationist writing (I have worked on Antonio Gramsci and Frantz Fanon in particular), and postcolonial print cultures. 

You can listen to an interview with me about my work here

Here you can watch the lecture I gave at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, New York University, in April 2018, on my book, Italian Colonialism and Resistances to Empire, 1930-1970.  

In October 2020, I held a conversation with Maaza Mengiste, the author of The Shadow King (2019), shortlisted for the Booker Prize. This amazing novel narrates the Ethiopian resistance to Italian imperialism in the 1930s, and the role of female warriors. The event was hosted by the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts. 

Current Projects

I am currently working on a project entitled "Unbinding Empire: Ethiopia in Global Print Cultures". The project aims to produce a global account of Ethiopia in the period between the two wars with a specific focus on the Italian invasion of 1935. It examines the rich production of Italian, British, Ethiopian, Caribbean, and African American literature and print culture around the invasion. It builds on recent scholarship examining the flow of progressive and radical ideas from the colonies to the metropole, seeking to connect recent anti-racist protests sparked by the COVID-19 crisis to earlier moments of black political activism through a focus on the textual construction of resistance. It focuses on the responses of colonial subjects (Ethiopian, Jamaican, West African) and the ways in which they reconfigure the definition of Britishness, linking them to the work of European antifascist intellectuals and contrasting them with Italian colonial and fascist literature. The dialogues that take place among political activists via the rich material of print culture yield a nuanced portrayal of the connections binding Ethiopia and its supporters/detractors together, beyond the colonizer/colonized binary.  

Postgraduate Supervision

I welcome PhD and MLitt. proposals on the following: world literature in English, South Asian literature in English and in translation, Italy and postcoloniality, Antonio Gramsci and the postcolonial world, Third-Worldism and its impact on the literary sphere. 

I am currently supervising two PhD projects:

Rebecca Latcham-Ford, "Travelling to Italy: Italy in the Anglophone Postcolonial Imagination"

Tijana Mamula, "Adaptation as Theory"

International Recognition 

I have held visiting scholarships at Brown University and at New York University. 

I am Associate Editor of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, and I sit on the editorial board of From the European South

I have delivered invited talks and book presentations at New York University, Stony Brook University (US), Concordia University (Canada), University College Cork (Ireland), the University of Venice, the University of Genoa, the University of Udine, Villa Romana (Florence, Italy), King’s College London, SOAS, and the University of Cambridge.

External Funding

Leverhulme Visiting Professorship for Stephanie Newell, Yale University, to visit Newcastle University for one year (2019-20). Value of award: £146,813. 

Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, "Decolonizing Europe: Italian Colonialism and Resistances to Empire", 2012-2013. Value of award: £41,000.  

Principal Investigator: international research network funded by Leverhulme Trust, on "Postcolonial Translation: The Case of South Asia". Value of award: £65,072. Length of project: 2008-2011.


Undergraduate Teaching

Fictions of Migration, Stage 2 module

Writing the Postcolonial Nation: Literature from the Indian Subcontinent, Stage 3 module