Bakirathi Mani


Penn Presidential Compact Professor of English


Bakirathi Mani is a prolific scholar who examines the possibilities and limits of Asian American representation. Professor Mani specializes in South Asian American public cultures, studying how empire in the US and in postcolonial South Asia shape South Asian American racial formations. Her latest book is Unseeing Empire: Photography, Representation, South Asian America (Duke University Press, 2020). She is also the author of Aspiring to Home: South Asians in America (Stanford University Press, 2012). Prior to joining the Penn English Department faculty in 2023, Professor Mani taught at Swarthmore College, where she was a founder of the Tri-College Asian American Studies Program.   Born in India, raised in Japan, and educated in the US, Professor Mani embodies many of the diasporic experiences of our undergraduate and graduate students. At Penn, she will be offering courses on Asian American literary and cultural studies, South Asian American solidarities, queer and feminist of color theory, and comparative race and ethnic studies. 

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