Neetu Khanna

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
Email Office THH 161 Office Phone (213) 740-0102


Neetu Khanna’s areas of interest include theories and literatures of decolonization, global marxisms, postcolonial literature and theory, materialist aesthetics, and queer and feminist theory. Her recent book, The Visceral Logics of Decolonization (Duke University Press, 2020) rethinks the global project of decolonization by exploring a set of relations between embodied experience and political feeling that she conceptualizes as the visceral, centering on an archive of Muslim internationalist art and literature emerging between the 1930s and 1950s in India. Neetu Khanna’s articles have appeared in Comparative Literature, Postcolonial Text, Scholar and Feminist Online, and The Journal of Postcolonial Writing.


  • Ph.D. Comparative Literature, UCLA, 2011
  • B.A. Comparative Literature, Brown University, 2003
    • Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for the Humanities, Wesleyan University, 2011-2012
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    My research in the global literatures of decolonization focuses on one of the central questions animating their political movements and transnational solidarities: how might literature and art disrupt and recondition the emotive sensibilities that sustain empire, global inequality, and their legacies? I am a comparative literary scholar of South Asia who works and teaches across literatures in Hindi, Urdu, Russian, English, and Spanish. My areas of expertise include postcolonial literature and theory, gender and feminist theories, Marxist and materialist aesthetics, affect theory and studies of the body.

    • USC Community Achievement Award (awarded to a professor for their outstanding contribution to the education of undergraduate students of color and the LGBTQ community), 2017-2018
    • USC Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund Award, 2014-2015
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