Nasia Anam, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor; 2022-2024 Joe Crowley Distinguished Professor of the Humanities
Nasia Anam
she, her, hers


I joined University of Nevada, Reno in 2018 as Assistant Professor of English and Global Anglophone Literature. Before arriving at the University, I taught at Princeton University and Williams College. I received my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In the University of Nevada, Reno Department of English, I have taught courses on Literatures of Migration and Exile; Colonialism, Postcolonialism, and Globalization; Orientalism; Representations of Asia in Western Media; and Global Cities in Literature and Film. I regularly teach our introductory course on Literary Theory and Criticism. I also teach in the Core Humanities program in the "Modern World" sequence.

My research focuses on issues of migration and mobility in literature, examining portrayals of displaced populations: how they are minoritized, racialized, and excised, and what it might mean to inhabit uprootedness and exile as permanent modes of being. I am committed to interdisciplinary thinking, engaging methods from Postcolonial Studies and Ethnic Studies, as well as South Asian studies, North African studies, Islamic studies, Geography, and Urban Studies. My approach to both research and teaching is comparative, drawing on literatures in Anglophone, Francophone, and Bangla-language contexts.

My current book project, Muslim Heterotopias: Colonial Logics of Space in Literatures of Migration, focuses on representations of Muslim migration in British, French, and American literature from the post-WWII to post-9/11 eras. The book is organized around distinct spatial configurations in which Muslim migrants are permitted or prohibited movement, such as the enclave, the periphery, the checkpoint, the encampment, and the dystopia. I argue that it is in these spaces that the meaning of “Muslim” as a category of difference shifts radically in response to particular historical inflection points, such as the “Rushdie Affair” in Britain, the “Headscarf Affair” in France, the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., and the global refugee "crisis" of the 2010s. The book will examine works by Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith, Mohsin Hamid, Kamila Shamsie, Driss Chraibi, Leila Sebbar, and Michel Houellebecq among others. I have also recently published on the contentious category of the "Global Anglophone" as both a disciplinary sub-field and a literary genre. My second book project will examine literary representations of Bengali labor, comparing 19th century colonial figures such as the Babu, the lascar, the sepoy, and the weaver to 20th and 21st century postcolonial figures such as the migrant intellectual, the ship breaker, the insurgent, and the garment worker. I am also working on an edited volume examining post-9/11 Muslim perspectives in literature, film, performance, and visual art.

My work has been published in such venues as Interventions, The Journal of Narrative Theory, ASAP/Journal, Post45 Contemporaries, Verge: Studies in Global Asias, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Aerogram.

Research interests

  • Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
  • World and Global Literature
  • South Asian Studies
  • Migration and Diaspora Studies
  • Islamic Studies
  • Ethnic Studies
  • North African Studies
  • Geography and Urban Studies
  • Literatures in Anglophone, Francophone, and Bangla-language contexts

Selected publications

  • “Loose Canons: The Global Anglophone Novel and the Failures of Universalism,”
    Interventions, Special Issue, "The Rise of the Global Anglophone" (2022)
  • “Encampment as Colonization: Theorizing the Representation of Refugee Spaces,”
    Journal of Narrative Theory, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp. 405-436 (2020)
  • “The Migrant as Colonist: Dystopia and Apocalypse in the Literature of Mass Migration,” ASAP/Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp. 653-677 (2018)
  • “The Immigrant Enclave and The Satanic Verses: Race and Religion in Purgatory,”
    Verge: Studies in Global Asias, Volume 1, Issue 3 (2016)
  • “Introduction: Forms of the Global Anglophone,” Post45 Contemporaries (2019)
  • “The Migrant’s Nervous Condition,” Post45 Contemporaries (2017)

Courses taught

  • Orient and Occident (ENG 783)
  • Migrant, Refugee, Exile: Figures of Displacement (ENG 788)
  • Colonialism, Postcolonialism, and Globalization (ENG 786)
  • East is East: Global Asias in the Western Media (ENG 437/637)
  • The Global City (ENG 480B/680B)
  • Immigration in Cultural Context (ENG 480A/680A)
  • Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism (ENG 303)
  • The Modern World, Core Humanities (CH 202)


  • Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of California, Los Angeles, 2016
  • M.A., English Language and Literature, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2007
  • A.B., English Literature, University of Chicago, 2004