My commissioned artwork for the ROH-Indies Project on decolonizing approaches to street-dogs and rabies prevention in India.

Sreyashi Ray

  • PhD Candidate in South Asian Literatures, Cultures, and Media (major) and Comparative Literature (minor),
    Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies,
    University of Minnesota

  • MA, Asian Literatures, Cultures, and Media,
    University of Minnesota

  • MA, Comparative Literature,
    Jadavpur University

  • BA, Comparative Literature,
    Jadavpur University

    Areas of Specialization: Postcolonial Criticism and Theory, Animal Studies, South Asian Literature, Ecocriticism, Affect Studies, Psychoanalytic Theory, Visual Cultures, Theories of Gender and Sexuality, Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies, Critical Translation Studies.


I am a PhD Candidate in South Asian Literatures, Cultures, and Media (major) and Comparative Literature (minor) at the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES), University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I am also an Environmental Humanities Graduate Fellow at the University of Minnesota's Environmental Humanities Initiative. I study aesthetic representations of the relationships between humans, other-than-human animals, and their shared environments in South Asian literary and visual cultures. My dissertation project focuses on how cultural imaginaries use unique rhetorical conventions, narratological strategies, and storytelling techniques to speculate animal sentience and critique the concurrent material and symbolic instrumentalization of animals. Working at the intersections of postcolonial studies, animal studies, affect theory, ecocriticism, visual culture studies, critical race and ethnicity studies, and theories of gender and sexuality, my dissertation shows that the polysemous cultural significance of animals are produced through the generative coexistence of metaphoric and metonymic dimensions of animal figures in Indian subcontinental literature, cinema, and mixed media artwork. Through zoocentric analyses of the literary, cinematic, and artistic representations of human-animal interdependence, communication, and co-constitution in the contexts of religious intolerance, indigenous disenfranchisement, feudal agrarian economy, industrial deforestation, extractivism, wildlife conservation, nationalism, and climate change, my dissertation shows that a diverse range of vulnerable and critically endangered species are implicated in the mutual imbrication of social and environmental transformation in the Indian subcontinent.