Dr. Nandini Thiyagarajan

Dr. Laura Robinson

Position: Assistant Professor
PhD (McMaster), MA (McMaster), BA (Alberta)
Beveridge Arts Centre 420
(902) 585-1264


Research interests: Postcolonial Literature, World Literature, Asian Diasporic Studies, Animal Studies, Environmental Humanities

I am a postcolonial scholar who focuses on the relationship between race, animals, and the environment, so my courses involve a mix of these interests. My version of the introductory English course focuses on animals and the environment, and I also teach upper-year courses on postcolonial and world literatures.

My courses are student-centered and discussion-based, which means that I want students to participate actively, learn from each other, and research the topics that they are genuinely interested in. Every course I teach works with a range of cultural and scholarly texts, so we will look at novels, short stories, poetry, film, and art alongside interdisciplinary scholarship. I welcome a mix of different assignments, from more traditional essays to nonfiction to creative pieces.

Uncertainty and discomfort are welcomed in my classroom, as students learn about the world from different perspectives. This is a process that we will work through together; I expect students to approach my courses with openness and curiosity.

I believe that a literary education offers students the skills to understand and engage with the world around them. Regardless of what program or year they are in, tools such as close reading, critical thinking, and writing are essential because they provide students with the ability to analyze texts and communicate their thoughts and arguments clearly

Selected Publications:
“Inevitable Lives: Connecting Animals, Caste, Gender, and the Environment in Perumal Murugan’s The Story of a Goat.” South Asian Review, 2021.  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02759527.2021.1905483

“‘Soon we will grow tails’: Animal Stories, Memory, and Reimagining the Not-Quite-Human in Madeleine Thien’s Dogs at the Perimeter.Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 66, no. 2, Summer 2020, pp. 349-370. https://cla.purdue.edu/academic/english/publications/mfs/volumes/2020.html#issue2

“We Are Not in This World Alone: On Drawing Close, Animal Stories, and a Multispecies Sense of Place.” Palgrave Handbook of Animals in Literature. Susan McHugh, Robert McKay, & Robert Miller, eds. Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.

Courses Recently Taught: Fall 2021 is my first term at Acadia University!
The courses that I will teach are:
ENG 1406 Reading and Writing Critically
ENG 3663 Postcolonial Literature - South Asian Literature
ENG 3673 Postcolonial Literature - African Literature