Aditya Bahl is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of English. He has written about art, literature, and politics for New Left Review, The Nation, The Caravan, The New Inquiry, and other publications. He is also the author of four chapbooks of poetry, including NAME AMEN (Malmö: 2018) and Mukt (NYC: 2021). He currently serves as the Assistant Editor for English Literary History.
His dissertation recovers an archive of small and underground literary magazines that were published in Punjab (India) during the 1960s-70s. Circulating across a rural landscape shaped by the clash between the US-sponsored Green Revolution and the Mao-inspired Naxalite insurgency, these magazines were frequently banned and destroyed by the Indian state. Today, only fragments of these magazines survive, scattered across obscure rural locations and often still shrouded in mystery.
Combining ethnographic fieldwork, literary criticism, and archival study, his work tracks how these magazines imagined a literary world-system that was grounded in the peripheral experiences of a peasantry suddenly implicated in a global capitalist network. These magazines braided diverse threads of global literatures (from Roland Barthes to Bulgarian poets) with local literary and folk traditions (from the geet to the ghazal). Meanwhile, the Punjabi writers drifted through unexpected networks of friendships, writers’ unions, and exiles, spanning Moscow to London and alpine France to California.
Before coming to Hopkins, Bahl received his M.A. (English) and M.Phil (English) from the University of Delhi, and also taught in the English department at Gargi College (University of Delhi). More information about his work is available here.
He was named the 2021-2022 Susan J. Baisley Graduate Fellow.