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Idaho State University
Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson

Professor of English

Office: LA 212



PhD, English (1998), University of California, Riverside

MA, English (1988), University of Virginia

BA, English (1984), Southern Illinois University

My expertise is in postcolonial literature and theory, with an emphasis on India, my birthplace. Like my colleagues, I teach a variety of other courses besides my specialty, such as postcolonial  ecocriticism, the novel, major figures (Rushdie, Naipaul), Hindi (or Bollywood) film, literary theory, comparative literature, writing about literature, religion and literature, honors humanities, and first year writing. In 2010 I was a Fulbright-Nehru lecturer in India, focusing on globalization and the place of literature, and I've traveled throughout India for research, conferences, and talks. My current project, for which I received a 2016-17 Fulbright-Nehru research award, is an interdisciplinary study of depictions of forests in Indian literature (mostly in English, some in translation). My interdisciplinary interests have taken me to conferences and talks in the U.S. (such as ASLE and RMMLA), India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, England, France, and Canada, as well as, most recently, two literary festivals in India (Bengaluru and Hyderabad).


Out of Bounds: Anglo-Indian Literature and the Geography of Displacement (Univ. of Hawai'i, 2011).

Postcolonial Literature Today, co-edited with Jagdish Batra (New Delhi: Prestige, 2015).

Select Articles

“Narrative Identities in India’s Global Age,” in Narrative, Identity, and Academic Community in Higher Education, ed. Brian Attebery et al. Routledge, 2017. 47-67

“Cross-cultural Humanities,” Rendezvous Journal of Arts & Letters 43:1 & 2, spec. issue “The State of the Humanities,” ed. Sharon Sieber and Angela Petit, Spring 2017: 9-18

“Teaching Amitav Ghosh in an Upper Division Single Author Course,” in Teaching Amitav Ghosh, Modern Language Assoc. series; ed. Gaurav Desai and John Hawley; MLA, forthcoming 2017

"Sacred Forest, Local Space, and National Narrative in Mahasweta Devi's Fiction," ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, 23:3 (Summer 2016): 506-525

"Landscapes of Terror and Nation in Hindi Film: The Case of Dil Se," Weber—The Contemporary West, South Asia special issue, ed. Michael Wutz, T. Vijay Kumar, Kerstin Schmidt. 32:2 (Spr/Sum 2016): 35-48

"'Going Jungli': Flora Annie Steel's Wild Civility," Flora Annie Steel: A Critical Study of an Unconventional Memsahib, ed. Susmita Roye. U of Alberta Press, 2017. 123-160

"Fraudulence, Knowledge, and Post-Imperial Geographies in John Le Carré's Fiction: A Cavellian Postcolonial Reading," accepted for Palgrave Macmillan volume titled Stanley Cavell on Aesthetic Understanding, ed. Garry Hagberg; forthcoming

"Local Writing is World Writing: Reflections on Literary Studies in a Global Age," The Atlantic Critical Review (India), 13:2 (April-June 2014): 1-15

"The American Hero's Passage to India: Geography, Frontier Myths, and Planetary Perspectives," Writing Today (India) 1:2 (Jan. 2014): 1-12

"Ghosts of Irish Famine in J. G. Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur," Journal of Commonwealth Literature (London) 46:2 (June 2011): 275-292

"The Savage City: Locating Colonial Modernity," Nineteenth-Century Contexts 25.4 (2003): 315-32

"Club Members?: Reading John Masters's Bhowani Junction,” Journal of Commonwealth Literature (London), Summer 2000: 3-26

Journal Special Issues Editor

Journal of Contemporary Thought (Dallas; Baroda, India), issue on "Locating Literature: Geography, History, Ecology," Winter 2012, co-ed. Prafulla Kar

Rendezvous:  Journal of Arts & Letters, "A Place for Beauty," 36:1 (Fall 2002), issue on “Aesthetics and the Place of Beauty,” co-ed. Michael Sowder

Non-Peer-reviewed Publications

“Wasteland, Forest, and Emplacement: The Promise (and Peril) of Narration,” Re-Thinking Environment: Literature, Ethics and Praxis, ed. Shruti Das; New Delhi: Authors Press, 2016. 21-39

"Anglo-Indians and Globalization," The Way We Are, ed. L. Crumb and D. Van Veldhuisen (New York: CTR Inc., 2008): 252-56

"Picturing Violence in an Age of Technological Reproduction," Literature in Times of Violence, ed. G. R. Kataria and S. Mandal. Delhi: Prestige Books, 2008


Fulbright-Nehru awards to India, 2010 (lecturer) and 2016-17 (researcher)

Idaho Humanities Center award for research in India, 2014

Two sabbaticals, as well as several Idaho State University grants

Master Researcher, ISU 2012

Courses Taught

Postcolonial, comparative, and world literatures; graduate seminars in literary theory, the novel, and politics and the novel; major figures; national literature; introductory literature; senior seminars on such topics as ecocriticism; first year writing; Honors Humanities; and Honors short course on Hindi film

Additional information, including some papers, CV, is available at and at