Shalini Puri

  • Professor

Shalini's Affiliations: Center for Latin American Studies, Climate and Global Change Center, Cultural Studies, Gender, Sexuality & Women's StudiesGlobal Studies Center

Shalini Puri works on postcolonial and cultural studies of the global south with a focus on the Caribbean. Her research spans memory studies, environmental humanities, feminism, social movements, nationalism, indentureship and slavery, fieldwork, the arts, and everyday cultural practices. She is currently working on a project entitled "Poetics for Freshwater Justice: Postcards of the Caribbean Anthropocene."

At Pitt, she is a member of the Race, Poetics, and Empire research group.

A founding member of the Pitt Prison Education Project, Puri is committed to diversifying the settings, methods, and reach of the humanities. She has taught Literature and Writing courses in which Pitt students and incarcerated students study together at a state prison. See a short video of student reflections from one of her prison courses

Puri is also editor of the Palgrave Macmillan series New Caribbean Studies, which seeks to explore Caribbean self-understandings, to intervene in the terms of global engagement with the region, and to extend Caribbean Studies' role in reinventing various disciplines and their methodologies well beyond the Caribbean. The series welcomes literary criticism and more broadly humanities-informed and interdisciplinary scholarship.

2010 Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award Recipient

Research and Publications


The Grenada Revolution in the Caribbean Present: Operation Urgent Memory. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Studies the conflicting cultural memories of the Grenada Revolution as they surface in the arts, everyday life, landscape, and the diaspora. Explores the legacies of the Grenada Revolution for egalitarian politics in the region.  View related material and reviews.

The Caribbean Postcolonial: Social Equality, Post/Nationalism, and Cultural Hybridity Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

Awarded the Gordon and Sybil Lewis Prize for Best Book in Caribbean Studies, 2005

Explores the relations amongst nationalisms and feminisms, and assesses various theories, histories, and poetics of cultural hybridity.

Edited Books

Caribbean Military Encounters. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

(co-edited with Lara Putnam, University of Pittsburgh)

A collection of essays from across the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean that explores the many ways in which Caribbean people in art, activism, and everyday life negotiate the experience of militarization.

Theorizing Fieldwork in the Humanities: Methods, Reflections, and Approaches to the Global South. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

(co-edited with Debra Castillo, Cornell University)

A collection of essays that seeks to articulate, share, and develop practices and understanding of fieldwork in the humanities, where there is as yet no shared public discourse about the role that fieldwork can play.

The Legacies of Caribbean Radical Politics. Routledge, 2010.

Republication as book of special issue of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 12.1 (March 2010).

Explores the cultural and political landscapes of the contemporary Caribbean fifty years after the Cuban Revolution and thirty years after the Grenadian Revolution.

Marginal Migrations: The Circulation of Cultures within the Caribbean. Macmillan Caribbean, 2003.

Explores the cultural practices, identities, conflicts, and alliances that emerge out of intra-Caribbean migration.

Selected Recent Talks:

“Freshwater Poetics in the Caribbean: Postcard Pasts, Dread Futures.” Oxford University Caribbean Studies Seminar. October 25, 2022.

"Postcards Repurposed: The Poetics of Freshwater Justice in the Caribbean." Keynote Address. 40th West Indian Literature Conference. University of the Bahamas, October 13-15, 2022.

“Fieldwork, Memory Studies, and the Public Humanities in the Anthropocene.” University of Miami. January 30, 2020.

“Performance, Everyday Life, and Ordinary Activism.” Conference on Decolonization, Social Movements, and Performance in the Caribbean and its Diasporas. York University. October 24-26, 2019.

“The Grenada Revolution: Remembered Pasts, Possible Futures.” Casa de las Américas, Havana, Cuba. May 20-24, 2019.

“Discrepant Internationalisms: Genre, Imagination, and Memory of the Grenada Revolution.” Plenary Roundtable on International Law, Revolution, and Global Imaginaries. Harvard Law School, Institute for Global Law and Policy Conference. June 2-3, 2018.

“Works Uncited: A Love Letter from the Humanities.” Keynote Address. Workshop on Literature, Fieldwork, and the Social Sciences. University of Maastricht, The Netherlands. March 13-14, 2018.

“Memory-Work and the Grenada Revolution.” Walter Rodney Lecture. University of Warwick. October 25, 2016.


Undergraduate Courses

Senior Seminar; Junior Seminar; Project Seminar: Water: Planet, Politics, Poetics; World Literature in English; Global Fictions; Contemporary Environmental Literature; The Modernist Tradition; Imagining Social Justice; Literature of the Americas; Literature and Migration; Introduction to Critical Reading; Freshman Composition; Honors Theses

Graduate Courses

Seminars: Interdisciplinary Methods in the Humanities; Global Literature; Literature and Revolution; Global South; Postcolonial Discourse and Cultural Critique; Caribbean Literature; Diaspora and Trans/National Identities MA Core Course: Practices and Texts

Awards and Distinctions

Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar Award, 2023-24

Global Studies Faculty Fellowship, 2021-2022

Chancellor's Seed Grant for Pitt Prison Education Project, 2018-2020

Provost's Year of Engagement Award, 2020

Provost’s Award for the Year of Creativity, 2020

Provost’s Award for the Humanities, 2019, 2015

Humanities Center Interdisciplinary Humanities Grant, 2017

Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Faculty Scholarship and Research Grant, 2013

Humanities Center Faculty Collaborative Research Grant, 2013

Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, 2010

University Center for International Studies Faculty Fellowship, 2008

Gordon and Sybil Lewis Award for Best Book in Caribbean Studies, 2005

Research Interests

Postcolonial literatures and global south studies

Caribbean Studies

Migration, slavery, and indentureship

Social movements, human rights, mass incarceration and decarceration

Memory studies, absent archives, conflict and reconciliation

Environmental humanities, extractivism, environmental and water justice

The arts in relation to everyday practices

Interdisciplinary methods, fieldwork- and place-based literary study

Public humanities