Leela Gandhi (born 1966) is Professor of English at The University of Chicago and a noted academic in the field of postcolonial theory. She is the co-editor of the academic journal Postcolonial Studies, the author of the summary text Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction and she serves on the editorial board of the electronic journal, Postcolonial Text.
Early life and education
Leela was born in Mumbai and is the daughter of the late Indian philosopher Ramchandra Gandhi and the great-granddaughter of the Indian Independence movement leader Mahatma Gandhi. She has offered analysis that some of Mahatma Gandhi's philosophies (on nonviolence, vegetarianism, for example) and policies were influenced by transnational as well as indigenous sources. Her undergraduate degree is from Hindu College, University of Delhi and her doctorate was obtained from Oxford University.
Reviews and critiques
With the publication of her first book Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction in 1998, Gandhi was described as mapping "the field in terms of its wider philosophical and intellectual context, drawing important connections between postcolonial theory and poststructuralism, postmodernism, marxism and feminism."
Her next book, Affective Communities, was written to "[reveal] for the first time how those associated with marginalized lifestyles, subcultures, and traditions--including homosexuality, vegetarianism, animal rights, spiritualism, and aestheticism--united against imperialism and forged strong bonds with colonized subjects and cultures." Gandhi traces the social networks of activists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries connecting Edward Carpenter with M.K. Gandhi and Mirra Alfassa with Sri Aurobindo.
Through this work, Gandhi became noted for proposing a "conceptual model of postcolonial engagement" surrounding ethical premises of hospitality and "xenophilia", and for bringing for the first time a queer perspective to Postcolonial Theory.
- Blake, Ann; Leela Gandhi; and Sue Thomas. England Through Colonial Eyes in Twentieth-Century Fiction. Palgrave Macmillan (August 18, 2001). ISBN 0-333-73744-X.
- Ezekiel, Nissim; Leela Gandhi; and John Thierne. Collected Poems (Oxford India Paperbacks). Oxford University Press, USA; 2 edition (December 13, 2005) ISBN 0-19-567249-6
- Gandhi, Leela. Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction. Columbia University Press:1998 ISBN 0-231-11273-4.
- Gandhi, Leela. Affective Communities: Anticolonial Thought, Fin-de-Siècle Radicalism, and the Politics of Friendship (Politics, History, and Culture). Duke University Press (January 2006) ISBN 0-8223-3715-0.
- Gandhi, Leela. Measures of home: Poems. Distributed by Orient Longman (2000) ISBN 81-7530-023-X.
- Postcolonial Text ISSN 1705-9100.
- IndiaPost.com: President, PM condole death of Ramachandra Gandhi Wednesday, 06.20.2007
- As recounted in the notes on the Australian National University Humanities Research Center's conference Gandhi, Non-Violence and Modernity
- University of Chicago, Department of English faculty Web page
- Gandhi, Leela. Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction. Columbia University Press:1998 ISBN 0-231-11273-4. Back cover
- Gandhi, Leela, Affective Communities : Anticolonial Thought and the Politics of Friendship. New Delhi, Permanent Black, 2006, x, 254 p., $28. ISBN 81-7824-164-1. (jacket)