Carnegie Mellon University

Marian Aguiar

Marian Aguiar

Associate Professor of English


My fields of expertise include culture and globalization, postcolonial and transnational studies. I have a particular interest in the study of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. My early research focused on the question, "What does it mean to be modern?" My first book, Tracking Modernity: India, Trains, and the Culture of Mobility (University of Minnesota, 2011), explores cultural representations of modernity by considering how the railway was imagined in colonial, nationalist and postcolonial South Asian contexts. My more recent research has looked at the gendered cultural narratives produced in globalizing context. 

My current book project Arranged Marriage: Agency and the South Asian Diaspora (University of Minnesota, forthcoming) shows how conjugal practices have become ciphers for belonging in national contexts that are increasingly permeated by transnational flows of people, practices, labor, capital and ideas. I regularly teach on culture and globalization, genders studies, transnationalism and diaspora, and Anglophone global literature, especially South Asian literature. In my work and my teaching, I draw on my own personal history growing up in an immigrant family connected to both India and a German-American farming community. My articles have appeared in Cultural Critique, Modern Fiction Studies, Journal of Modern Literature, as well as in edited book collections. I’ve presented my work at Harvard University and Brown University, among other places.  My early work was featured in a special collection on the most important articles on postcolonial literary studies published in Modern Fiction Studies in the past thirty years.