Loyola University Chicago

Department of English


Anushka Sen

Anushka Sen

Assistant Professor

  • Office Location: Crown Center 429
  • Phone Number: 773.508.2788
  • E-mail: asen2@luc.edu


My current research focuses on fleeting and elusive animal presence in twentieth-century literature as an entry point into the challenges of dwelling in global modernity. My dissertation (and future book project), Settling and Straying: The Rhythms of Animal-Human Belonging in Modernist Spaces, turns to animals as a key mediator of the tensions between a sense of rooting on the one hand (“settling”) and rootlessness on the other (straying). I argue that the familiar strangeness of animal presence draws attention to political and material issues of infrastructure and movement through space, thus widening a text’s world beyond its human experiences of belonging. Who moves in fulfilment of aspiration, and who moves under compulsion? What histories of occupation or settlement are obscured in narratives of movement? How do communities work to include and exclude members simultaneously? Working on these questions by focusing on “minor” presences has also turned me towards issues of housing and houselessness, which I plan to explore in future projects and in my teaching.

My choice to focus on animals who might be considered marginal or short-lived within a text comes from an ethos of paying attention to things we might hurriedly move past. The importance of looking—or sensing—anew is crucial to my understanding of aesthetic representation. I have taught poetry across periods, places, and genres; film and popular media; essays in critical race theory; and modernist fiction. Across all these ventures, I try to foster a spirit of careful attention to finer details, emphasizing the surprises, joys, and often unnerving realizations that come from such a practice. I believe that art helps us understand our material realities, not only by being faithful to my, or your, or someone else’s particular experiences, but also by showing the world to be far more surprising, contradictory, power-laden, and richly populated than any of us expected. Each medium does this in a distinctive way, through its own aesthetic vocabulary. Through my pedagogical practices, I hope for students and I to experience different and novel forms of recognition, based on the worldview of each text we encounter.


  • PhD, English Literature, Indiana University (2023)
  • MA, English Literature, Jadavpur University (2014)
  • BA, English Literature, Jadavpur University (2012)

Program Areas

  • Modernism
  • Twentieth-century global anglophone literature
  • Critical Theory
  • Animal and Environmental Studies

Research Interests

  • Twentieth-century literature
  • Studies in the nonhuman
  • Space and environment
  • Materialisms
  • Phenomenology
  • Translation


  • Parker Prize recipient from the English department at Indiana University, awarded to a standout dissertation in British literature, 2023.
  • Fellowship recipient at Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference, 2022
  • Fellowship recipient at American Literary Translators Association conference, 2021

Selected Publications

  • “From Streetsmart to Stranded: Stray Encounters with the Modernist ” Forthcoming in Modernism/modernity.
  • “Between Land and Settler Subjectivity: The Modernist Animal’s Territory in Katherine Mansfield’s “Prelude.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language, October 2022.
  • “Tagore’s Wardrobe,” co-authored with Judith Forthcoming in Cambridge Companion to Fashion and Literature, ed. Elizabeth Sheehan. Cambridge UP, 2022.
  • “The Language of Community,” The Arkansas International, Issue 14, 2023.
  • “Two Poems,” The Dalhousie Review, Themed Environmental Issue (100.3), 2020.