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Zubeda Jalalzai

Craig-Lee Hall (147)
(401) 456-8281
(401) 456-8028

Academic Background

B.A. St.Lawrence University;
M.A. Binghamton University;
Ph.D. State University of New York (Buffalo)

I have been teaching at Rhode Island College since 2000 in the areas of early-19th-century American Literature, Postcolonial theory and Literature, and Literary Theory. I have published in the fields of Early American Literature, Transatlanticism, Native-American Literature, Postcolonial Theory, and Afghanistan. My current research involves Afghan travel narratives from the 18th century to the present day, which I am developing into a book manuscript titled, “Overland to Afghanistan: Travel Writing and the Afghan Romance.” In January 2015 a chapter from this work will appear in the collection, Asia and West, edited by Elisabetta Marino and Tanfer Emin Tunc (Macfarland & Co. Inc.) . I am also working on an edited collection of essays on the connection between 19th-Century American Literature and the Islamic World called “Washington Irving and Islam” forthcoming from AMS Press.

A fun project that I completed in 2011 was a photo-essay, Wayside Whaling: Moby Dick and the Whale Ornament in Contemporary New with photographer Jason Fiering that examines the visual elements in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick in relation to issues of representation in both the novel and contemporary New Bedford. The New Bedford Whaling Museum featured this essay as both a digital and physical art exhibit starting in November 1, 2012. Furthermore, the museum used the essay as the center piece for a Flickr group: Signifying the Whale Flickr: Outside Link

At RIC I also co-chair the Open Books-Open Minds, common book committee. Bringing the enthusiasm of reading to the larger campus as well as designing events and the spring student conference have been highlights of my teaching career. Check us out!

When I am not taking photos of whales in New Bedford, working on an OBOM program, or rushing to meet a deadline, you may find me hiking in the Adirondacks with my husband and three young children.

Courses Taught

COLL 202 Open Books-Open Minds Mentor Program
ENGL 120 Studies in Literature and Identity: Transnational Islamic Literatures
ENGL 202- Literary Studies: Theory and Criticism
ENGL 207 American Literature, Beginnings to the Present
ENGL 301 Reading America to the Civil War
ENGL 303 The Rise of the American Novel
ENGL 460 America/ns Abroad
ENGL 525 The “Oriental” Tourist: Colonial and Postcolonial Narratives of Travel
ENGL 540 The Body in Early America
FYS 100 First Year Seminar: Savage Desire-Cross Cultural Desire in Colonial Context
FYW 100 First Year Writing

Selected Publications


Globalizing Afghanistan: Terrorism, War, and the Rhetoric of Nation-Building. Co-edited with David Jefferess. Duke University Press, 2011.

Articles and Chapters:

Wayside Whaling: Moby Dick and the Whale Ornament in Contemporary New Bedford. Photo- essay with photographer, Jason Fiering. On-line exhibit at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. 2012.

“Teaching Transatlantic Americanism.” Teaching the Transatlantic Eighteenth Century.
Edited by Jennifer Frangos and Cristobal Silva. Cambridge Scholars Press (UK), 2010. 135-54.

“Teaching “Historical Fiction and Maryse Condé’s, I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem.” African American Review 43.2-3 (Summer/Fall 2009): 1-13).

“Race and the Puritan Body Politic.” MELUS. 29.3-4 (December 2004): 259-272.

“The Personal Quests of Saira Shah.” Sexing the Political: A Journal of Third Wave Feminists on Sexuality. Ed. Krista Jabcob. 3.2 (May 2002).

“Trading Feminisms: French and Postcolonial, Spivak’s Ethics of Exchange.” Literature and Psychology: A Journal of Psychoanalytic and Cultural Criticism 48.4 (2002): 33-45.

“Puritan Imperialisms.” The Connecticut Review 23.2 (Fall 2001): 69-84.

“The Ethics of Love and Indifference: Readings of Brotherhood and Isolation in Wilson
Harris and V. S. Naipaul.” Journal of West Indian Literature 9.1 (April 2000): 70-82.

“Tricksters, Captives, and Conjurers: The Roots of Liminality and Gerald Vizenor's Bearheart.” American Indian Quarterly 23.1 (Fall 1999): 25-44.

Page last updated: April 01, 2019