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About Tanya Fernando

Tanya Fernando received both her A.B. in History and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago . She also holds an M.A. from NYU in Comparative Literature with a concentration in Performance Studies. Her teaching and research interests bring together a wide variety of disciplines, including history, anthropology, and the literary, visual, and performing arts. The classes she designs are based on themes or concepts, such as primitivism, modernism, or beauty, and seek to elaborate larger theoretical and political issues by using texts from across the humanities and social sciences. She is currently working on a book, Shock Treatments , that traces a genealogy of ‘shock,' one of modernism's significant modes of representation, critique, and cure. She demonstrates how, in the early decades of the twentieth century, modernist shock worked as an organizing aesthetic principle that established a discursive link between theories of race and sexuality, and a range of disciplines, particularly medicine, psychology, and anthropology. In addition, drawing on her interest in the arts and cultural policy, she is working on a play. Dance, Salome! Dance! explores questions of commodification, patronage, and desire.


Present Assistant Professor, Department of English, College of Humanities & Fine Arts, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Contact Information

289 Bartlett Hall
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 0l003
Tel: 413-545-2978
Fax: 413-545-3880


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