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Reader (Associate Professor), School of Social Sciences, University of Westminster

Dr Nitasha Kaul (PhD, MSc, BA Hons) is a multidisciplinary academic, novelist, poet, artist, and economist. Over the last two decades, she has researched and published extensively on themes relating to democracy, political economy, identity, rise of right-wing nationalism, feminist and postcolonial critiques, Bhutan, India, and Kashmir. Her books include Imagining Economics Otherwise (Routledge, 2007); Future Tense (Harper Collins, 2020); Man-Asian Literary Prize shortlisted Residue (Rainlight, 2014); co-edited Economic & Political Weekly volume on Women and Kashmir (December 2018) and Can you Hear Kashmiri Women Speak? (Kali for Women Press, 2020). Currently, she is an Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster in London, having previously been an Associate Professor in Creative Writing in Bhutan and a tenured Assistant Professor in Economics at the Bristol Business School. She holds a joint doctorate in Economics and Philosophy (2003), an MSc in Economics with a specialisation in Public Policy (1998) from the University of Hull, and a BA (Honours) in Economics from SRCC, University of Delhi. She writes and speaks within and outside academia. Please see www.nitashakaul.com for CV with links to her work. On twitter @NitashaKaul

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Nitasha Kaul is a Kashmiri novelist, politics/IR academic, poet, economist, artist who lives in London.

She often finds herself speaking to, engaged with, writing and addressing, and part of, specific audiences who do not speak much to each other: economists, novelists, poets, feminists, economic social and political justice activists, politics and international relations theorists, musicians and filmmakers, Bhutan scholars, Kashmiris, street-artists, academic philosophers (to name a few).

Her first book was a scholarly monograph on economics and philosophy titled ‘Imagining Economics Otherwise: encounters with identity/difference’ (Routledge, 2007).

She continues to write and speak on issues of political economy, neoliberalism, economic justice and economic violence.

Other current focus areas of her work are -- the contemporary globally ascendant project of the right wing politics; postcolonial neoliberal nationalism; Hindutva project in India; history and politics of Kashmir; democracy, geopolitics, policy and biodemocracy in Bhutan; gender/border violence and nation-statism.

She is the co-editor of a special Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) volume in 2018 on 'Women and Kashmir', which was the first ever such collection to bring together work on Women and Kashmir by Kashmiri women scholars themselves. She has also co-edited 'Can you Hear Kashmiri Women Speak? Narratives of Resistance and Resilience' (Women Unlimited, 2020). She also provided expert testimony as an academic at the US Congress on Kashmir and Human Rights in the aftermath of the 2019 revocation of autonomy for the region.

Links to her publications, spoken and written work, media engagements, in all these areas -- including years of work on Kashmir -- can be found in her CV (accessible from link in tab above at this page).

Her first novel ‘Residue’, about Kashmiris outside of Kashmir, was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize (sometimes called the 'Asian Booker') in 2009 by a panel of judges including Colm Tóibín, Pankaj Mishra and Gish Jen. It was the only unpublished manuscript by a debut woman author to be honoured in this manner. RESIDUE was later published as a literary hardback in the acclaimed Rainlight imprint from Rupa Publications, and available in bookstores and from online book retailers such as Amazon. It was the Publisher's 'Book of the Month' in March 2014. Please click the Residue Tab on this page above for information relating to purchase, reviews and literary events (past and current) where this book has been featured.

Her latest novel, a work of political fiction on Kashmir, titled 'Future Tense' was published in January 2020 by Harper Collins.

She is an expert on the history, politics, and contemporary culture of Bhutan, a country in the eastern Himalayas where she has spent long stretches of time over a period of several years since 2006. She has led award-winning research on the country's transition to democracy in 2008 and its democratic consolidation in 2018. She leads a long-term collaborative project of her own titled "Biodemocracy and Resilience in Bhutan", producing deliberative public policy outputs in the form of annual conferences and reports. Her scholarly research on Bhutan has pioneered new directions and has been published in multiple international publications, including most recently (in 2021) as the first ever article on Bhutan's geopolitical history in the Journal of Asian Studies (the flagship journal of the Asian Studies Association) and an article on the representations of Bhutan (critical analysis of the politics of knowledge production) in The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.

She publishes short fiction, non-fiction essays and poetry, and speaks to various gatherings of creatives, writers, poets and academic scholars. She has authored numerous academic/scholarly and other articles in edited books, journals, newspapers on the themes of identity, economy, gender, social theory, feminist/postsructuralist/postcolonial critiques, technology, democracy, Kashmir, Bhutan (please click CV tab on this page above for details and links to all publications and spoken work, academic and creative both).

She has a BA Honours in Economics from SRCC, Delhi University, a Masters in Economics with a specialisation in Public Policy, and a Joint PhD in Economics and Philosophy from the University of Hull, UK (2003). She was earlier a tenured Assistant Professor of Economics at the Bristol Business School (2002-2007), an Associate Professor in Creative Writing at the Royal Thimphu College in Bhutan (2010), and a Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy in London (2007-2015). At present, she is an Associate Professor (Reader) in Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster in London where she has been teaching postgraduates courses in Politics and IR since 2012.

Across disciplines, geographies, and over the years, the themes that motivate her work are as follows: the need to foreground and critically analyse -- institutions and systematisations of knowledge trajectories (and their link to systems of oppression, discourses of legitimisation, and narratives of dispossession); indigenisations of political expression; the use of memory as a resource; and the understanding of identities as they travel through the disciplining processes of territory and time.

She has travelled to over 70 countries around the world, with a camera and a notebook, documenting the strangeness of the everyday and the otherness of the present.

Experience

  • –present
    Reader (Associate Professor), University of Westminster