Poulomi Saha is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. She is affiliated faculty in the Program in Critical Theory and teaches courses in postcolonial studies, gender and sexuality theory, and ethnic American literature. Her first book, An Empire of Touch: Feminine Political Labor & The Fabrication of East Bengal, 1905-2015, which was awarded the Helen Tartar First Book Subvention Prize by the American Comparative Literature Association in 2017, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press.

An Empire of Touch turns attention to East Bengal, the historical antecedent of Bangladesh, today an international exemplar of development driven by gender-targeted foreign aid. An Empire of Touch recounts a new narrative of female political labor under empire, spanning from anticolonial nationalism to neoliberal globalization, through text and textile. It follows the historical traces of how women have claimed their labor, making what has been customarily seen as “merely” intimate and domestic into appreciable political acts.

Professor Saha’s research and teaching agenda spans eastward and forward from the late 19th century decline of British colonial rule in the Indian Ocean through to the Pacific and the rise of American global power and domestic race relations in the 20th century– with a particular investment in psychoanalysis, critical theory, and feminist studies. She is interested in developing an expansive view of empire and of what constitutes Anglophone literature, routed not primarily through Great Britain and Western Europe but rather through circuits of affiliation and encounter between Asia and the Americas.

Her work has been published in differences and The Journal of Modern Literature.