Brian RhinehartSarika Chandra (PhD, 2003)

Of her experience in the English Department at UF, Dr. Sarika Chandra enthusiastically notes that the “interdisciplinary nature of the department and the flexibility of study” were crucial to the trajectory of her research and growth and to the completion of her dissertation. Sarika completed her PhD in 2003 after studying at Bentley College and earning a Master’s at Northeastern University. Adopting an interdisciplinary/cultural studies approach, she focused her dissertation research on the critique of the discourse of globalization in the United States, analyzing the intellectual/cultural formations of management theory, immigrant/ethnic literary studies, travel writing and food-oriented tourist narratives in popular media. Appreciative of the great direction she received, Sarika remembers the positive experience she had working with Susan Hegeman, and other advisors who, as she states, “really engaged with my work.” Continuing her scholarly research in this area, she recently revised her dissertation into a book titled Dislocalism: The Crisis of Globalization and the Remobilizing of Americanism, forthcoming from The Ohio State University Press in Fall, 2011.

Currently, Dr. Chandra is Assistant Professor of English and Director of American Studies at Wayne State University. Among many of her scholarly accomplishments, she was the recipient of The Humanities Center Faculty Fellowship in 2005–2006, the Josephine Nevins Keal Faculty Fellowship in 2008, and was Resident Scholar at the University of California, Santa Cruz Center for Cultural Studies in 2007–2008. Her most recent scholarship includes “From Fictional Capital to Capital as Fiction: Globalization and the Intellectual Convergence of Business and the Humanities” in the Fall 2010 issue of Cultural Critique and “Re-Producing a Nationalist Literature in the Age of Globalization: (Im)migration in Julia Alvarez’s How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" in a Special Issue on “Nation and Migration” of the September 2008 issue of American Quarterly.

Also an accomplished teacher, she has taught at Wayne State University for six years, offering graduate seminars such as “Globalization in Crisis,” “Fordism and Post-Fordism,” “Theorizing America in a Global Economy” as well as undergraduate courses on globalization and food, surveys of American literature, cultural studies and an upcoming senior seminar on migration and im/migration. She credits her teaching experiences at UF as the foundation for the educator she has become. “The program helped me to figure out things about myself as a teacher,” she recalls, and “teaching a variety of courses of my own design was crucial in the development of my intellectual thinking and pedagogical framework.”

Dr. Chandra has also served as the Chair of the Ethnic Studies Committee for the American Studies Association.