Collegiate Affiliation

Sreyashi Ray is a PhD Candidate in South Asian Literatures, Cultures, and Media (major) and Comparative Literature (minor) at the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is also an Environmental Humanities Graduate Fellow at the UMN Environmental Humanities Initiative. She studies aesthetic representations of the relationships between humans, other-than-human animals, and their shared environments in South Asian literary and visual cultures. Her dissertation project focuses on how cultural imaginaries use unique rhetorical conventions, narratological strategies, and storytelling techniques to speculate animal sentience and critique the concurrent material and symbolic instrumentalization of animals. Working at the intersections of postcolonial studies, animal studies, affect theory, and ecocriticism, her dissertation shows that the polysemous valence of animals are produced through the generative coexistence of metaphoric and metonymic dimensions of textual animal figures. Through zoocentric analyses of the literary and cinematic representations of human-animal interdependence, communication, and co-constitution in the contexts of religious intolerance, indigenous disenfranchisement, feudal agrarian economy, industrial deforestation, extractivism, wildlife conservation, nationalism, and climate change, this dissertation shows that a diverse range of species are implicated in the mutual imbrications of social and environmental transformation in the Indian subcontinent. 


Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • B.A.: Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University
  • M.A.: Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University
  • M.A. : South Asian Literatures, Cultures, and Media, University of Minnesota


  • Postcolonial Theory and Criticism
  • Animal Studies
  • Ecocriticism
  • Affect Theory
  • Narratology
  • Visual Cultures
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • South Asian Studies
  • Modern Indian Literatures