Shyaonti Talwar


"Another world is not only possible. She is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."
- Arundhati Roy

Research Statement

The area of Shyaonti’s doctoral research demanded an extensive reading of Feminisms and Feminist Thinking and also an understanding of Gender Studies and some Contemporary Critical Theories. Her doctoral research attempts at gendering the theory of the Absurd from a feminist perspective but the thesis reflects key insights from a range of literary and critical theories like psychoanalysis, deconstruction, myths and archetypes, contrapuntal reading, different schools of feminism and the notion of gender performativity, to name a few. Having worked in the area of analysing the form and language of works by women authors she is now keen on working in the area of Indian queer aesthetics since it is a popular presumption that writing from the margins focuses more on content and less on form.

She has a keen interest in critical theories because they have a major influence on the text that is produced. They enable a better understanding and analysis of, not just literature as the term classically and conventionally connotes, but all literature, as in all ‘text’ around us, to use a very Derridean term. So theory, in fact, allows one to understand all that is happening or is being made to happen around one, in other words the text that is constantly being written and negated. She is especially interested in postcolonial studies, the concept of the nation and cultural nationalism and its impact on regional and diasporic communities.

Another major area of interest for Shyaonti is Cultural Studies, especially the politics of representation, identity creation in a culture of consumption through media and production of culture and knowledge again through media. For further research, she is considering the possibility of the intersectionality of Cultural Studies and Critical Theories or Film Studies and Cultural Studies with Gender Studies. She is interested in tracing and mapping Desire and how it stands constructed or is invisibilised or censored in contemporary culture and how it intersects with national, political and religious interests on the one hand and consumerist culture on the other.

Given Shyaonti’s ELT experience and exposure, she also has a particular interest in Pedagogy especially, Blended Learning. In all her teaching and training years, her experiences in remote locations and interactions with teachers and students from mofussil or interior areas have made her aware of all the roadblocks and hurdles they face in imparting teaching making her realise fully well that a few days of face to face interaction, guest lectures and training will have to be scaffolded by a more structured, consistent and sustained intervention. Which is why Shyaonti is also engaged in preparing materials and modules for blended learning that will be a handholding for the teachers and students who have access to limited resources and will ensure smooth and easy transmission of knowledge and information. Shyaonti is particularly interested in the possibility of integrating disciplines.

The coming together of conventionally regarded scientific disciplines and humanities, be it gene-mapping and archaeological findings or metallurgy and economics to complement and substantiate historic analyses or a field like computational linguistics which marries technology, linguistics and literature, or studying phenomena like deforestation, climate change, opening up and closing of rivers or shifting landmasses related to Earth Sciences to understand the origin and historical movement of communities and coming into being of ethnicities – all these possibilities make humanities in today’s times, much more interesting, a lot more relevant and expand the scope of research.

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