I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate, Assistant Instructor, and Assistant Director in Rhetoric and Writing Studies program at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). I am also a researcher and Digital Humanities Consultant at the Center for Advanced Studies in South Asia (CASSA) and the South Asian Foundation for Academic Research (SAFAR). 

I. Rethinking South Asia from the Borderlands via Critical Digital A(na)rchiving

My doctoral project, Rethinking South Asia from the Borderlands via Critical Digital A(na)rchiving, is situated at the intersections of Rhetoric and Composition, Postcolonial Studies, Decoloniality, Feminist Criticism, Technical Communication, Critical Archival Studies, and Critical Digital Humanities. In my dissertation, I discuss the precarities, negotiations, and affordances of building a digital archive through participatory approaches in the context of South Asia. In this project, I employ social-justice approaches to technical communication and digital humanities by co-curating and co-designing a digital archive of Nepali street photography alongside participants in Nepal (http://cassacda.com/). My dissertation addresses the following questions:

  1. Following the social justice turn in technical communication, how can digital archives still be a dialectical space to deconstruct representation of the Other?
  2. Can digital archives be a hospitable space to the heterogeneities, pluralities, and alternative epistemologies of the Other?
  3. What does the “nature” of ethics look like while digitally archiving or narrativizing the Other, with the Other, and/or as the Other, given the historical and contemporary infra/structural inequities between and within the “Global North” and “Global South”?

II. Gendering South Asia in Global Capital: Non-Phallic Bodies in Invisible and Visible Spaces

Before beginning my doctoral work at UTEP, I was a lecturer at the Institute for Advanced Communication, Education, and Research (IACER) in Kathmandu from 2012-2017, where I taught courses in the areas of cultural criticism, literary theory, and philosophy. During this time, I participated in a series of Rethinking/Comparative South Asian Studies workshops in Nepal, which was supervised by Prof. Ashis Nandy, Prof. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Prof. Arun Gupto, Prof. Robert Barnett, and other frontline scholars from Nepali, South Asian, and North American Universities. Alongside a rigorous practice of deconstructionist self-reflection, the study is a cutting-edge critique of regionalism, area studies, and disciplinary essentialism by taking issues of contemporary significance. My book Gendering South Asia in Global Capital: Non-Phallic Bodies in Invisible and Visible Spaces, currently under review with Routledge, derives from my research during and after these workshops. Gendering South Asia is about how in South Asian societies female bodies and/or non-phallic bodies are made to function or are functioned upon in three proposed markers of global capitals: media, masculinity, and ideological fundamentalism.

Whether through my research or teaching, I am exploring the ways to put intellectual labor, academia, and digital tools into the service of underrepresented communities, intersectionally disadvantaged groups of people and build healing spaces in academia and through academia.

My research and teaching are situated at the multiple interstices and intersections of:

• Critical (Digital) Archival Studies and Critical Digital Humanities
• International Technical Communication, UX, and Design Justice
• Critical Theory, Cultural Criticism, and Rhetorical Theory
• Rhetorical Ethics, Ethical Rhetorics, and Justice
• Anti-colonial, Anti-racist, Anti-casteist, and Anti-heteropatriarchal theories, criticism, and pedagogies
• South Asian Studies
• Border Rhetorics/the Borderlands
• Visual Rhetorics and Rhetoric of Photograph(y)
• Transdisciplinary Research Methods 

For more information, please contact me at bibhushanabimej@gmail.com