Leila Neti

Associate Professor, English
B.A., UCLA; M.A., Ph.D., UC Irvine
Appointed In: 
Swan Hall #225

Neti teaches in the fields of postcolonial Anglophone literature and theory, 19th and 20th century British literature, and literary and cultural criticism.

Research and Teaching Areas:

Postcolonial Anglophone Literature and Theory; Nineteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-First Century British Literature; Film and Media Studies; Theories of Gender and Sexuality; Cultural Studies; Transnational and Global Studies.

My teaching and research interests focus on postcolonial and transnational literature, theory, and film, nineteenth century British literature, and cultural studies.  In particular, my courses examine film and literature with reference to the larger cultural, political, and social formations within which these works are produced and consumed. 

Works in Progess:

Subject to Appeal: The Biopolitics of Law in Colonial India

This book reads appeals to the British Privy Council from eighteenth and nineteenth century India to show how the law served to bring Indian subjects into alignment with imperial ideals.  Chapters on inheritance, caste, criminality, and citizenship examine the ideological production of the normative colonial subject at the intersection of biological and juridical modes of discipline. 

A Kind of Magic: Freddie Mercury as Postcolonial Performer (with Mrinalini Chakravorty, University of Virginia) 

Situated at the nexus of postcolonial, queer, media, and cultural studies, this critical biography examines the life and work of rock music icon Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the British glam band Queen, in the social contexts of British colonialism and Thatcherite Britain.

“Martin Luther King, Jr.” and “Frederick Douglass” in The Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. London: Wiley-Blackwell. (forthcoming, 2014)         

Published Work:

“Imperial Inheritances: Lapses, Love, and Laws in the Colonial Machine.” In Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.  London: Taylor Francis, 2013.


“The Human Recycled: Insecurity in the Transnational Moment,” with Mrinalini Chakravorty (University of Virginia) in differences, ed. Nancy Armstrong and Warren Montag.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2009.


“Toward Collaborative Coalitions: From Internationalism to Interdisciplinarity” in Interdisciplinarity and Social Justice, eds. Joe Parker, Mary Romero, Ranu Samantrai. Syracuse: SUNY Press, 2010.


“Siting Speech: The Politics of Imagining the Other in Meera Syal’s Anita and Me” in British Asian Fiction: Framing the Contemporary, ed. Wai-Chew Sim and Neil Murphy.  London: Cambria Press, 2008.


“Blood and Dirt: The Politics of Women’s Protest in Armagh Prison Northern Ireland” in Violence and the Body, ed. Arturo Aldama.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003. 



Selected Conference Papers and Presentations:

“Portrait as Landscape: Caribbean Labor and the Aesthetics of Representation.” American Comparative Literature Association.  Toronto, Canada.  April 2013.  Presented paper. 

Systems of Life Conference.  Occidental College and Huntington Library.  November 8-10, 2012. Panel chair.

“Sexual Politics in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things.”  Tenure Talk.  October 12, 2012.  Occidental College.

“Love in a Bad Time: The Story of Lutchmee and Dilloo.”  American Comparative Literature Association.  Vancouver, Canada.   April 2011.  Panel co-chair and presenter.

Feminist Faculty Series Lecture: “Imperial Inheritances.” Presentation of work in progress.  Occidental College.  November 18, 2010.

Feminist Theory Workshop.  Duke University.  March 2009.

“Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Interpreter of Maladies.”  Presentation to incoming freshman class. Occidental College.  August 2008; January 2009.

 “Sly Servility: The Impossible Subject of Indentured Labor.”  International Society for the Study of Narrative.  Austin.  March 2008.

“Imperial Inheritances: Lapses, Love, and Laws in the Case of Begum Sumroo.” American Comparative Literature Association.  Long Beach.  April 2008.

“What is ‘Popular’? Minor Politics and the Protest Narrative.” Modern Language Association.  Chicago.  December 2007.

“Postcolonial Studies and Psychoanalysis.”  University of California Interdisciplinary Psychoanalytic Consortium.  Lake Arrowhead.  May 2007.  Discussion Leader.

“Sugarcane Subjection: Subjectivity and Indentured Servitude in Indo-Caribbean Fiction.”  American Comparative Literature Association.  Puebla, Mexico.  April 2007.  Panel Chair.

“Toward Collaborative Coalitions: From Internationalism to Interdisciplinarity.” Interdisciplinarity and Social Justice. Pitzer College.  February 2005.

“Black India: Strategic Orientalisms in W.E.B. Du Bois’s Dark Princess.” Modern Language Association.  Philadelphia, PA. December 2004.

“Fetishizing the Tongue: Race and Linguistic Representation in Sonali Fernando’s Shakti.”  Marxism 2000 Conference. Amherst, MA.  September 2000.

Teaching Experience:

Associate Professor, Occidental College, 2012-Present.

Assistant Professor, Occidental College, 2006-2012.

Multicultural Summer Institute, Occidental College, 2010.

Visiting Faculty, Kenyon College, Spring 2006.

Visiting Faculty, Pitzer College, Fall 2005.

Graduate Student Instructor, UC Irvine, 1997-2004.

Representative Course Offerings:

Objects of Beauty: Literature and Aesthetic Theory

The Anglophone Novel

Postcolonial Literature and Theory

The Nineteenth Century Novel and Bollywood Film

Modern British Literary Traditions: 1660-Present

The Global City