Shakti Jaising’s book bridges gaps through cross-national analysis
November 2023 – Drew University Associate Professor of English and Director of Film Studies Shakti Jaising recently published her book, Beyond Alterity: Contemporary Indian Fiction and the Neoliberal Script.
The book is a study of literature and film from contemporary India.
“All too often, we tend to think that what happens in the poorer nations of the world, like India, is the polar opposite of what happens in wealthier nations like the United States. My book pushes back against this assumption,” said Jaising.
“I argue that the stark inequalities generated by global capitalism have led to remarkable continuities in experience and expression across the poorer and richer nations of the world—continuities that are at least as worthy of our attention as differences arising from colonialism and its aftereffects.”
For Jaising, the book’s cross-national analysis mirrors the approach of her courses, which draw on texts from across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. The research for the book also led to a new Drew course: Cinema and the Critique of Capitalism.
Just as the book informs Jaising’s teaching, Jaising’s students provided an inspiration for her writing style.
“My students’ desire for clear forms of explanation has in turn informed my writing style in this book, which straddles the line between scholarly and public writing so that it can function as an accessible resource within the classroom.”