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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
April 17, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Mariam Pirbhai

Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director

Contact Information
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext.2530

Office Location: 3-119 Woods Building
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30-2:30
Academic Background

  • Ph.D. University of Montreal 2004 

    (Recipient of Governor General's Gold Medal, University of Montreal)

  • M.A. McGill University 1998
  • B.A. Hons. Dalhousie University 1994

Major Grants:

SSHRC Standard Research Grant: 2010-2014

Research Interests:

Post-Colonial Studies; South Asian and Caribbean literatures; migration, diaspora and multiculturalism; post-colonial feminisms; indenture histories/historiography; British imperial narratives; South Asian Canadian literature 


- Critical Perspectives on Indo-Caribbean Women's Literature. Co-editor with Joy Mahabir (New York: Routledge, 2012).

- Mythologies of Migration, Vocabularies of Indenture: The Novels of the South Asian Diaspora in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.  (Nominated for MLA Best First Book Award, 2009) of-the-South-Asian-Diaspora-in-Africa-the-Caribbean-and-Asia-Pacific.html

Other Publications:

I have also published extensively, in articles and book chapters, on a range of British, Canadian, Caribbean and South Asian authors, including E.M. Forster, Jamaica Kincaid, Shani Mootoo and Salman Rushdie. My articles have appeared in peer-reviewed international journals such as Dalhousie Review, Journal of Commonwealth Literature and Journal of Postcolonial Writing

Current Research Projects:

At present I am working on two major projects:

- a study of “South Asian Canadian Fiction”

- a SSHRC-funded bilingual study of “Indo-Caribbean” authors: Cyril Dabydeen, David Dabydeen, Rabrindanath Maharaj, Shani Mootoo, Ernest Moutoussamy (francophone), Laure Moutoussamy (francophone), V.S. Naipaul, Lakshmi Persaud, Ryhaan Shah, and others

Graduate Supervision:

I have served as Advisor or reader on a variety of dissertation topics in Post-Colonial and Diaspora Studies, including Arab-American, Asian-American, South Asian and Indigenous Literatures.


I regularly teach the following undergraduate courses:

Reading Fiction; Post-Colonial Literature; South Asian Literature; Caribbean Literature: Cross-Cultural Encounters; Narratives of Empire;

Multicultural Literary Perspectives (new course in development)

And the following graduate courses:

Re-Reading Post-Colonial Theory, Caribbean Women's Fiction