Growing up one hour north of the U.S.-Mexico border as a first-generation immigrant of Indian descent, I’ve always been fascinated by the construction and deconstruction of borders. My identity as an Indian American born in the U.K. and living proximally to Mexico is one that has transcended borders, spanning manifold countries and cultures. It has driven me to found initiatives such as South Asian Americans in Public Service, a national movement to empower South Asian American students to enter careers in public service, and Stories from the Border, a journalistic platform focused on illuminating narratives of U.S. migration. Above all, my identity has inspired me to bridge borders wherever I see them—often, through storytelling as a journalist and writer. Through Cambridge’s M.Phil in English: Modern and Contemporary Literature, I look forward to comparing and contrasting contemporary U.S. and U.K. refugee and asylum-seeker literature across genres in hopes of understanding how authors in both countries take different approaches to telling these narratives. My ultimate goal is to harness literary analysis to identify solutions to rising anti-immigrant sentiment in both countries, which I will propose in my dissertation.
Harvard University English, South Asian Studies 2021