Dr. Jill Didur, PhD
Professor and Graduate Program Director, English
Doctorate, English Literature, York University, Toronto
Master of Arts, English Literature, York University, Toronto
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), English Language and Literature, Queen's University, Kingston
Postcolonial Literature and Theory / Environmental Humanities / Media Studies / South Asia / Partition / Secular Discourse / Historical Memory / Gender / Posthumanism / Postcolonial Ecocriticism / Garden History / Cultural Studies / Travel Writing
Current Research Interests
My academic training is in English Literature with a broad interdisciplinary focus on postcolonial studies, the environmental humanities,and media studies. I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in area such as globalization studies, the environmental humanities, postcolonial and diasporic theory, critical posthumanism, South Asian literature and culture,and literature and media.
My current research includes a SSHRC funded project, Greening Narrative: Locative Media and Globalized Environments (Insight Grant, $387 500, 2014-2021).
This project brings together my interest in the history of landscape and the environment with scholarly work that explores the productive tension between established reading practices and those associated with contemporary mobile media tied to place. I have created and designed a locative media application, The Alpine Garden MisGuide, an experimental sound walk that curates the relationship between colonial history and botanical gardens. The app was launched in the Montreal Botanical Garden in May 2015. The Alpine Garden MisGuide is available for free download at the App Store.This work is being carried out as part of my research activities at the Technoculture, Art and Games Research Center (TAG), Concordia.
My most recent book, Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities: Postcolonial Approaches, (co-edited with Elizabeth DeLoughrey and Anthony Carrigan), examines current trends in scholarly thinking about the new field of the Environmental Humanities,focusing in particular on how the history of globalization and imperialism represents a special challenge to the representation of environmental issues.Essays in this path-breaking collection examine the role that narrative,visual, and aesthetic forms can play in drawing attention to and shaping our ideas about long-term and catastrophic environmental challenges such as climate change, militarism, deforestation, the pollution and management of the global commons, petrocapitalism, and the commodification of nature.
My first book, Unsettling Partition: Literature, Gender, Memory (U of Toronto Press, 2006), examines the relationship between South Asian Partition narratives, gendered nationalism,and historical memory. I continue to work on this topic through my ongoing research and publications on Hindu nationalism and the crisis in secular discourse in contemporary Indian culture. I have volunteered for the South Asian Film Festival of Montreal in different capacities since 2015.
I am also completing a book manuscript about imperialism, gardening, and the environment in postcolonial literature and travel writing. This project looks at the history of colonial botanical exploration and plant hunting in South and Central Asia, and its relation to literature and travel writing concerned with gardening, the environment, and alpine landscapes. This research also considers how postcolonial writers appropriate the travel writing genre,colonial tropes for representing landscape, and tackle topics implicated in the history of colonialism such as conservationism and gardening culture.
Some of this work has appeared in Textual Practice (2013), Interventions:International Journal of Postcolonial Studies (2011), Public (2010)and Postcolonial Ecologies: Literature of the Environment (2011).
My collaborative research includes co-editing special issues of Cultural Studies: Revisiting the Subaltern in the New Empire (2003), Cultural Critique: Critical Posthumanism (2003), and several 'author meets critics' forums that have appeared in Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies(2006), Postcolonial Text(2008), and the International Journal of Canadian Studies(2010).
I am a member of the Technoculture Art and Games Research Centre(TAG), Milieux Institute for Art, Culture and Technology, Figura: Centre de la Texte et Imaginaire, the Urban Futures Institute, the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science, and I am a Research Fellow at Concordia’s Loyola Sustainability Research Centre.
I am a member of the management committee for the journal Environmental Humanities, and I serve on the editorial boards of ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature (2012topresent) and Postcolonial Text (2004 to present).
Deadline for submitting proposals: April 5, 2019
Research and Research Creation Grants
2014-2021: SSHRC Insight Grant (Principal Investigator) "Greening Narrative: Locative Media in Globalized Environments," ($387 500).
2015-16 SSHRC Connections Grant (Co-applicant) "Infrastructure, Environment and Life in the Anthropocene" ($17 620).
2014-2015: SSHRC Connections Grant (Co-applicant) "The Emergence of Botanic Gardens and Leaders in the Governance of Biodiversity Conservation" ($17 600)
2013-2018: FRQSC - Centre de recherche (Collaborator) “Figura: Centre de recherche(UQAM & Concordia)” ($300 000).
2013-14: NSERC GRAND NCE (Collaborative Network Investigator) "Indiegame" ($2 500).
2008-2012: SSHRC Standard Research Grant, (Principal Investigator), “Gardenworthy: Planthunting in South Asian literature and travel writing.” ($55 600).
Articles and book chapters
Didur, Jill. “Landscape and the Environmental Picturesque in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss.” Teaching Anglophone South Asian Women’s Writing, MLA Options for Teaching, edited by Deepika Bhari and Filippo Menozzi. New York: MLA (forthcoming 2019, 20 pages).
Didur, Jill and Lai-Tze Fan. “Between Landscape and the Screen: Locative Media, Transitive Reading, and Environmental Storytelling” Media Theory: Special issue, Geospacial Memory, 2.1(2018): 79-107.
Didur, Jill. “‘The Perverse Little People of the Hills’: Unearthing Transculturation and Ecology in Reginald Farrer’s Alpine Plant Hunting.” Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities: Postcolonial Approaches, edited by Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Jill Didur, Anthony Carrigan. New York: Routledge Press, 2015. 51-72.
DeLoughrey,Elizabeth, Jill Didur, Anthony Carrigan. “Introduction: A Postcolonial Environmental Humanities,” Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities: Postcolonial Approaches. edited by Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Jill Didur, Anthony Carrigan. New York: Routledge Press, 2015. 1-32.
Didur, Jill. “Guns and Roses: Reading the Picturesque Archive in Anita Desai’s Fire on the Mountain” Textual Practice, 27.3, (2013): 499-522.
Didur, Jill."Cultivating Community: Counter Landscaping in Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss" Postcolonial Ecologies: Literature of the Environment, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. 43-61.
Didur, Jill. “‘Gardenworthy’: Rerouting Colonial Botany in Jamaica Kincaid’s Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalaya.” Public: Art, Culture, Ideas 41 (2010): 172-185.
Didur, Jill. "'An Unremembered Time': Secular Criticism in Pankaj Mishra's The Romantics" The Journal of Commonwealth Literature 44. 2 (2009): 65-85.
Didur, Jill. “Secularism Beyond the East/West Divide: Literary Reading, Ethics and The Moor's Last Sigh.” Textual Practice 18.4 (2004): 541-562.
Didur, Jill. “Re-embodying Technoscientific Fantasies: Posthumanism,
Genetically Modified Foods and the Colonization of Life.” Cultural Critique 53 (2003): 98-115.
Didur, Jill and Teresa Heffernan. "Revisiting the Subaltern in the New Empire. Special issue of Cultural Studies 17.1, 2003. (co-editor)
Simon, Bart, Jill Didur and Teresa Heffernan. Critical Posthumanism. Special issue of Cultural Critique 53, 2003. (co-editor)
Didur, Jill and Susan Gingell. "Author Meets Critics: Julia Emberley's Defamiliarizing the Aboriginal:Cultural Practices and Decolonization in Canada." Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies 23-24 Summer 2010: 388-428.
Didur, Jill. “Provincializing Ecocritism: Rob Nixon’s Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor” Contemporary Literature 53, (2012): 585-591
Didur, Jill. “Sangeeta Ray, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: In Other Words.” Postcolonial Text 6.1 (2011): 3 pages
Didur, Jill. “Clara Joseph, The Agent in the Margin: Nayantara Sahgal’s Gandhian Fiction.” The University of Toronto Quarterly 80.2, (2011): 374-376.
Didur, Jill “America Inside Out: Inderpal Grewal’s Transnational America” Topia: A Journal for Canadian Cultural Studies 17 (2007): 162-165.
Didur Jill “Daniel Coleman’s White Civility” Chimo: The Newsletter for the Canadian Association for Literature and Language Studies 58 (2007): 11-14.
2015 Montreal South Asian Film Festival at Concordia
Launch of mobile app: Alpine Garden MisGuide at the Jardin Botanique de Montreal
Selected conference papers / readings / talks
Didur,Jill. “Shadow Places and the Environmental Picturesque in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss” Ecotones 4 - Partitions and Borders at Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Kolkata, December 13-15, 2018.
Didur, Jill “Beyond Anti-Conquest: Unearthing the Botanical Archive with Locative Media” Avoiding Eco-cidal Smart Cities Workshop,Participatory Design Conference, Hasselt & Genk, Belgium, August 20-24,2018.
Didur, Jill. “‘Cha rery’: Diasporic Tea Routes in Mulk Raj Anand’s Two Leaves and a Bud”. Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language 16th Studies Triennial Conference, Saint Lucia, August 5-9, 2013.
Didur, Jill. "Mis-Guided Narratives: Locative Media in Globalized Environments " Accepted for presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Comparative Literature Association, University of Toronto, April 4-7 2013. (Presenter and Seminar Stream Co-Organizer for Repositioning Narrative: Locative Media/ GPS/ Mobile Literature).
Didur, Jill. “The Perverse Little People of the Hills”: Global Ecologies and Species Interdependence in Reginald Farrer’s Alpine Plant-Hunting”. Global Ecologies: Nature/Narrative/Neoliberalism, March 7-9, 2013 UCLA.
Didur, Jill. “Guns and Roses: Reading the Picturesque Archive in Anita Desai’s Fire on the Mountain” Annual Conference of the American Comparative Literature Association, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, March 29-April 1, 2012.
Didur, Jill. “Postcolonial Ecologies Round Table” European Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, Istanbul, Turkey, Bogazici (Bosphorus) University, April 26 to 30, 2011.
Didur, Jill. “Slow Violence and Lepcha Cosmology in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss” Chotro III: Local Knowledges & Global Translations. The Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies / Bhasha Research and Publication Centre / Developing Countries Research Centre, New Delhi/Shimla, India. September 11-16 2010.
Didur, Jill. "The Picturesque Archive: Countercolonial Landscapes in Postcolonial Fiction”. Critical Landscape Studies Panel, Canadian Communications Association Annual Meeting, Concordia University, Montreal. June 3, 2010.