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Dr. D. (Divya) Nadkarni PhD

Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen

  • Spuistraat 134
  • Kamernummer: 7.16
  • Postbus 1641
    1000 BP Amsterdam
Social media
  • Research

    Anti-identitarian Aesthetics in an Era of New Colonialisms
    (University of Amsterdam, 2024-)

    Taking up the exemplary case of contemporary postcolonial India and the Indian diasporas, this project aims to contribute to a critical self-understanding of the different anticolonial options that are emerging in response to rising authoritarian and antidemocratic tendencies in postcolonial nations.

    Poetic Understanding and Political Community: Actualizing Plurality through Poetry
    (PhD project, Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, 2016-2022)

    In this project, I propose an intersubjective pragmatist framework for reading poetry that takes the actualization of a decolonial and anti-identitarian political plurality as the basis of poetry’s politicality. At its core is the concept of ‘poetic understanding’: a transformative quality of understanding that is a necessarily dynamic, contingent, non-hierarchical, and anti-identitarian process of transformation and constitution, where who I am comes to be constituted in my process of understanding, as does who the other is. I develop this framework by bringing together four distinct conceptual fields: I build on Hannah Arendt’s theory of political plurality, Édouard Glissant’s concepts of relation and opacity, John Dewey’s pragmatist theory of aesthetic experience, and Sylvia Wynter’s model of decipherment to examine poetry as a site of intersubjective transformation, where a genuine plurality of relation in interaction, divested of discriminatory and hierarchizing mechanics, can be actualized. In such a conceptualization of poetic understanding, I argue, lies an as-yet-underestimated cornerstone of solidary understanding, and the crux of poetry’s political contribution.

    Supervisors: Prof. Ellen Rutten, Prof. Josef Früchtl
    (Defense date: 11 November 2022)


    Forthcoming Publications:

    Nadkarni, Divya. “Glissant, Plurality, and the Poetics of Public World-Relation.” Parallax. Special Issue, Literature and Public World-Making. (2024)

    Nadkarni, Divya. “Notes Towards a Decolonial Praxis of Cultural Analysis.” Chap. In Cultural Analysis, ca. 2033, edited by Murat Aydemir, Aylin Kuryel, and Noa Roei. Amsterdam University Press, 2024.

    Nadkarni, Divya. “One with Others/One Among Others: The Labor of Solidary Understanding.” Chap. In Essays on C.D. Wright, edited by Rachel Trousdale. University of Michigan Press, 2025.

    Nadkarni, Divya. "The ‘oblique poetics’ of decolonial relation: Michelle Mohabeer’s Queer Coolie-tudes." Chap. In Queer  Diaspora Studies and Film Studies in conversation (2025/26)

  • Teaching

    2023 -
    Department of Literary and Cultural Analysis
    , University of Amsterdam

    2022 - 2023
    Department of Philosophy, University of Amsterdam
    - Philosophy, Race, Media, and the Arts (BA Seminar) (Nov - Dec 2022)

    Department of Literary and Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam
    - Intercultural Dialogues (MA Seminar) (Sep - Oct 2022)
    - Poetic, Rhetorical and Visual Analysis (BA Seminar) (Sep - Oct 2022)
    - Narratology and Discourse Analysis  (BA Seminar) (Nov 2022 - Jan 2023)
    - Historicism, Anachronism, Memory: How Not to Take Contexts for Granted (BA Seminar) (Apr - June 2023)

    2019 - 2022
    Department of Literary and Cultural Analysis
    , BA, University of Amsterdam
    - Literary Worlds (Lecture) (Feb - Mar 2022)
    - Analysis and Interpretation 2 (Seminar) (Oct 2020 - Jan 2021)
    - Contexts and Frames (Seminar) (Apr - Jun 2020)
    - BA Thesis supervision (Thesis) (Feb - June 2020)
    - Aesthetics and Politics (Lecture) (Sep - Oct 2019)

    Academic Core, BA, Amsterdam University College
    - Academic Writing Skills (Core course) (Sep -Dec 2019)

    Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), BA, Amsterdam
    - Race, Gender, Sexuality and Popular Culture (May - June 2019)

    2018 -2019
    Academic Core
    , BA, Amsterdam University College
    - Academic Writing Skills (Core course) (Sep - Dec 2018)

    Lecturer BA, Literary and English Studies

    Ramnarain Ruia College, University of Mumbai (Mumbai, India)
    Courses :
    - Introduction to Postcolonial literatures
    - Romantic and Victorian literature
    - British Modernism
    - Introduction to literary theory
    - Introduction to Feminism
    - 20th century American Literature
    - Contemporary Indian English literature

  • Publicaties


    • Nadkarni, D. (2024). ‘No pictures of you anywhere … You were alive’: Poetic (In)visibility as a Ground for Political Plurality. Journal of Social and Political Philosophy, 3, 21-36. https://doi.org/10.3366/jspp.2024.0070
    • Nadkarni, D. (in press). One with Others/One Among Others: The Labor of Solidary Understanding. In R. Trousdale (Ed.), Selves and Others: The Poetry of CD Wright University of Michigan Press.
    • Nadkarni, D., & Thinius, A. (in press). Notes Towards a Decolonial Praxis of Cultural Analysis. In A. Kuryel, N. Roei, & M. Aydemir (Eds.), The Future of Cultural Analysis: A Critical Inquiry Amsterdam University Press.


    • Azad, A. K., Nadkarni, D., & Bunders-Aelen, J. G. F. (2022). Beyond Resistance, Beyond Assimilation: Reimagining Citizenship through Poetry. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 14(3), 986–1004. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/huac055 [details]
    • Nadkarni, D. (2022). "A form of howling. A form of chanting. A form of looking out for each other": Poetics and Politics of the Contemporary Indian-English Prose Poem. In A. Caldwell, & O. Hardwick (Eds.), Prose Poetry in Theory and Practice (pp. 124-139). Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003199533-10 [details]
    • Nadkarni, D. (2022). Beyond Autonomy and Activism: ‘Poetic Understanding’ as a ground for political community. Aesthetic Investigations, 5(2), 194-213. https://doi.org/10.58519/aesthinv.v5i2.12083 [details]


    • Nadkarni, D. (2021). I Understand You, Across the Chasm that Divides Us: Rethinking Community Through Poetry. Jaarboek voor Vrouwengeschiedenis, 40, 137-142. [details]



    • Nadkarni, D., & Thinius, A. (2023). Vivek Narayanan’s ‘After’: Subverting ‘epic nationalism’ and the colonial legacy of epic genre writing. Paper presented at European Conference on South Asian Studies, Turin, Italy.


    • Nadkarni, D. (2022). 'No pictures of you anywhere ... You were alive': poetic in/visibility as a ground for political plurality. Paper presented at (In)visibility, Zurich, Switzerland.


    • Nadkarni, D. (2021). The Lyric We: A Pragmatist Approach to the Politics of Poetry. Paper presented at Aesthetic Relations, Copenhagen, Denmark.


    • Nadkarni, D. (2019). Poetic autonomy, poetic engagement: A reading of Nandini Dhar's Historians of Redundant Moments. Paper presented at Metamodernism, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
    • Nadkarni, D. (2019). Poetic autonomy? Uncreative writing and new media poetry in Adorno’s legacy. Paper presented at Adorno and the Media, Karlsruhe, Germany.
    • Nadkarni, D. (2019). Reinterpreting tradition: the politics of the contemporary Indian-English "prose poem": A reading of Nandini Dhar's Historians of Redundant Moments and Vivek Narayanan's Life and Times of Mr. S. Paper presented at Prose Poetry Symposium, Leeds, United Kingdom.


    • Nadkarni, D. (2018). Moving beyond the lyric "I": impersonal effects and the architecture of digression in the poetry of Larry Levis. Paper presented at ESSE, Brno, Czech Republic.
    • Nadkarni, D. (2018). Resisting Disfiguration: Patricia Smith’s “Black, Poured Directly into the Wound” and poetry as a limit to violence. Paper presented at ASCA International Workshop 2018: Dissecting Violence, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
    • Nadkarni, D. (2018). Slow time/Slow form: Architectural time-space and the poetry of Larry Levis. Paper presented at AS SLOWLY AS POSSIBLE (ASAP): A Symposium of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present
      , Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    Prijs / subsidie

    • Nadkarni, D. (2023). ASCA Dissertation Award.



    • Nadkarni, D. (speaker) (4-7-2023). Post- and Decolonial dialogues in the Indian Context: a Masterclass, Bengaluru City University.
    • Nadkarni, D. (speaker) (5-10-2018). Gestures of Refusal: The politics of the Prose-Poem, Questions for Poets: An Evening with Anne Boyer, Amsterdam.


    • Nadkarni, D. (participant), Saraf, A. (participant), Vijayan, S. (participant) & Bala, S. (organiser) (14-12-2023). ‘How long can the moon be caged?', Amsterdam. Book Presentation and Seminar: ‘How long can the moon be caged? Voices of Indian political prisoners’ by Suchitra Vijayan and Francesca Recchia, (…) (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Nadkarni, D. (visiting researcher) (7-2023). Bengaluru City University (visiting an external institution).
    • Boletsi, M. (organiser), Nadkarni, D. (organiser), Farrant, M. (organiser) & de Waard, M. (organiser) (19-1-2022 - 21-1-2022). OSL Ravenstein Winter School 2022, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Thinius, A. (organiser), Nadkarni, D. (organiser), Vaid-Menon, A. (participant) & Adamczak, B. (participant) (14-5-2020). The Poetics and Politics of Sharing. There are many aspects of sharing and ways in which we can share: Affect, stories, words can be shared; experience can be shared; instagram posts can (…) (organising a conference, workshop, ...). https://www.nica-institute.com/the-poetics-and-politics-of-sharing/
    • Nadkarni, D. (organiser), Thinius, A. (organiser) & de Vries, N. (organiser) (10-4-2019 - 12-4-2019). ASCA International Workshop 2019 "Realities and Fantasies: Relations, Transformations, Discontinuities", Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...). https://realitiesfantasies.wordpress.com/
    • Rachmadiev, F. (organiser) & Nadkarni, D. (organiser) (4-10-2018 - 5-10-2018). Guest Lecture by Anne Boyer, No: A Poetics of Refusal & Questions for Poets An Evening With Anne Boyer (organising a conference, workshop, ...). https://www.perdu.nl/nl/archief/anne-boyer/r/questions-for-poets-an-evening-with-anne-boyer/
    • Nadkarni, D. (participant) (13-4-2018). Panel Discussion: Art, Writing and Philosophy (DRIFT) (other).
    • Nadkarni, D. (other) (2015). Academic Editor (other).


    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Nevenwerkzaamheden
    • Divya Nadkarni Editing
      Freelance academic editing, creative collaborations