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Mills College Germaine Thompson Professor of French and Francophone Studies and Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Program Head, Transcultural Francophone Studies & Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Brinda Mehta is an award-winning scholar of postcolonial literature, transnational feminist thought, and Francophone Studies. Her publications include five monographs along with three co-edited journal issues on Indo-Caribbean/Afro-Caribbean Intellectual Traditions, Indian diaspora writings in French, and Iraqi women’s gendered realities under war and occupation. She has also published over sixty-five articles and book chapters on postcolonial literature that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as the South Atlantic Quarterly, Callaloo, Research in African Literatures, meridians, among others.

Brinda Mehta’s research and teaching interests include postcolonial literature; Francophone studies; Atlantic Studies; cultural and diaspora studies; migritude literature; transnational feminist theory; psychoanalytic literary theory; immigration and border studies, and Indian Ocean literature. She is currently working on two books, Landscapes of War in Contemporary Francophone Women’s Writings from North Africa and the Middle East and The Wounds of War and Conflict in South Asian Women’s Writings. 


  • Germaine Thompson Professorship in French and Francophone Studies (2013-2017, 2020-present) 
  • Meg Quigley Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Fellow (2022-2023, 2018-2019, 2014-15, 2009-2010, 2003-2004, 2000-2001) 
  • Fulbright Senior Specialist in Diaspora and Transnational Feminist Studies (2019-2024) 
  • Senior Peer Evaluator, the Berlin Prize (2019-2020) 
  • Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Université de la Réunion (June 2018) 
  • Mentor of the Year Award (1994, 2000, 2008, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019) 
  • Joint Appointment, Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (2016) 
  • Visiting Fellow. Center for South Asia Diaspora Studies. University of Hyderabad, India (December 2015) 
  • Invited Summer Resident Fellow. Institut Américain Universitaire. Aix-en-Provence (June 2014)  
  • Sarlo Teaching and Advising Award (2010-2011)  
  • Eugene T. Trefethen Faculty Award for Academic Excellence (2007-08) 
  • Visiting Scholar, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley (Spring 2002) 
  • Mary S. Metz Endowed Professorship (1999-2000) 
  • American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Research Fellowship (1998-99) 
  • Affiliated Scholar, Beatrice Bain Research Group on Gender, UC Berkeley (1998-99) 
  • Invited Scholar-In-Residence, Institute for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad (February 1999) 
  • Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Excellence Award (1997) 
  1. Dissident Writings of Arab Women: Voices Against Violence (Routledge, 2014 – Winner of the African Literature Association 2016 Book of the Year Award);
  2. Notions of Identity, Diaspora and Gender in Caribbean Women’s Writing (Palgrave, 2009),
  3. Rituals of Memory in Contemporary Arab Women’s Writing (Syracuse University Press, 2007);
  4. Diasporic (Dis)locations: Indo-Caribbean Women Writers Negotiate the Kala Pani (University Press of the West Indies, 2004 – Winner of the Caribbean Philosophical Association’s 2007 Frantz Fanon Award for Caribbean Thought), 
  5. Corps infirme, corps infâme: la femme dans le roman balzacien (Summa Publications, 1992)
  6. “Freedom’s Painful March in Maram al-Masri’s Elle va nue la liberté.”  Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 18.2. (July 2022): 260-284. 
  7.  “Gastro-testimonials in Handmade: Narrating the War Experiences of Sri Lankan Tamil Women through Food.” Feminist Formations 34.2 (Summer 2022): 146-174. 
  8.  “Contesting Militarized Violence: Women Poets from Northeast India.” meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, vol. 20, no. 1, 1 April 2021, pp. 53-83. 
  9.  “The Wounds of Refugeeism in Ananda Devi’s Ceux du large (Afloat). Research in African Literatures, vol. 51, no. 5, Winter 2020, pp. 43-60. 
  10.  Jahaji-bahin Feminism: A De-colonial Indo-Caribbean Consciousness.” Journal of the South Asian Diaspora, vol. 12, no. 2, September 2020, pp. 179-194. 
  11.  Migritude and Kala Pani Routes in Shumona Sinha’s Assommons les pauvres.” Invited submission for a special issue on Migritude Literature. the minnesota review: a journal of creative and critical writing, vol. 94, Apr. 2020, pp. 85-103. 
  12.  “Fractured Silences and Youth Dystopia in Maïssa Bey’s Theatrical Writings: Tu vois c’que j’veux dire? On dirait qu’elle danse: Envol et chute d’un oiseau blessé and Chaque pas que fait le soleil. The International Journal of Francophone Studies, vol. 19, nos. 3-4, Winter 2016, pp. 253-275.  
  13.   “Parisian Dystopias: The Mothers of Maghrebi Migration in Yamina Benguigui’s Mémoires d’immigrés: l’héritage maghrébin, Mehdi Charef’s Le thé au harem d’Archi Ahmed and Leïla Sebbar’s Fatima ou les Algériennes au square.” Journal of Mediterranean Studies 24.2. 2016: 183-199.  
  14. “Bagdad murée: fragmentation spatiale, genre et résistance poétique.” Revue Inter-lignes, vol. 15, Spring 2015, pp. 213-239. 
  15. “Historicizing Memory, Inscribing Kala Pani in Ernest Moutoussamy’s A la recherche de l’Inde perdue.” Journal of the South Asian Diaspora, vol. 7, no. 1, Mar. 2015, pp. 1-16. 
  16. Zangana, Haifa and Brinda Mehta, eds. War and Occupation in Iraq: Women’s Voices, Gendered Realities. Special issue. International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies 12.1. Summer 2018. 
  17.  Larrier, Renée and Brinda Mehta, eds. Indianités francophones: Indian Ethnoscapes in Francophone Literature. Special issue of L’Esprit Créateur. 50.2 (Summer 2010). 
  18.  Paget, Henry & Brinda Mehta, eds. The CLR James Journal: A Review of Caribbean Ideas. Special issue on “Indo-Caribbean and Afro-Caribbean Intellectual Traditions.” 9.1 (2002/2003). 

Related Schools & Departments

  • Education

    BA, French Literature, Elphinstone College
    MA, French Literature, University of Bombay
    Ph.D., French Literature, Brown University

  • Contact

  • Address

    Mills College at Northeastern University
    Oakland, CA 94613