Jessica Namakkal

Jessica Namakkal

Assistant Professor of the Practice of the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Program

External address: 
Ics Program, 210-C East Duke Building, Durham, NC 27708-0405
Internal office address: 
Ics Program, Box 90405, Durham, NC 27708-0405
(919) 660-4353
Office Hours: 
Fall 2016Tuesday 3 - 4:30


My current research focuses on the era, and theories, of decolonization in the 20th-century. I have researched and written about the colonial, decolonial, and postcolonial relationships between England, France, and India, paying particular attention to how the experiences of the people in the French colonies in India challenged the dominant narrative of Indian independence and the "end" of the colonial era. My research shows that the colonial borders the British constructed during their period rule in South Asia were adopted and reinforced by the Indian state, subsuming many movements for post-colonial autonomy that emerged on the ground in French India.  I also work on the question of how decolonization has shaped modern life in Western Europe, through experiences of postcolonial migrations and global tourism.  My manuscript in progress, Minor Borders: The Making of Global France and India, seeks to expand understandings of decolonization from an isolated relationship between metropole and colony to a global context. I also write about the state and sexual violence, the criminalization of colonized bodies, and the intersections of race, class, caste, and gender in the colonial and post-colonial context.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities 2012

Namakkal, J. "The Terror of Decolonization: Exploring French India’s “Goonda Raj”." Interventions 19.3 (April 3, 2017): 338-357. Full Text

Namakkal, J. "European Dreams, Tamil Land: Auroville and the Paradox of a Postcolonial Utopia." Journal for the Study of Radicalism 6.1 (2012): 59-88. Full Text