Carnegie Mellon University

Pavithra Tantrigoda

Pavithra Tantrigoda

Ph.D. Student

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


I received my B.A. in English at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and my M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. My research is committed to a transverse examination and interconnected understanding of law, human rights, ecosystems and socio-political-economic contexts to reveal concealed hindrances to achieving social and ecological justice.

My dissertation is informed by postcolonial approaches to the Anthropocene debate and examines how hegemonic, as well as alternative discourses on human rights and ecological justice inform legal doctrine and postcolonial aesthetic discourses. More specifically, I examine how human rights discourses in European juridical thinking collude with scientific and philosophical discourses of ‘green imperialism’ in producing the taxonomy of man and nature and the ways in which literature by South Asian novelists contests this process by reincorporating nature as a subject of rights and trope for human rights abuses. Additionally, I am interested in issues of gender and class in a context of globalization.