S201. Who is "Desi"? Tradition & History in South Asian Native & Diasporic Literature

Room 216A, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Saturday, March 7, 2020
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


This panel explores South Asian writing through the lens of how migration and immigration have impacted South Asian writers. The immediacy of popular "desi" subcultures lays bare areas of historical division and conflict. The panel will explore how writers uproot disparate language and traditions to create simulacra of the country left behind, and the relationships and conflicts that arise between writers both in and out of the diaspora when faced with these differing realities.



Kamil Ahsan is currently a doctoral student in history at Yale University, with a prior doctorate in biology from the University of Chicago. Originally from Lahore, Pakistan, he is also a freelance journalist, critic, and an editor at Barrelhouse magazine. 

Hasanthika Sirisena's stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, Epoch, StoryQuarterly, Narrative, and other magazines. She is a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writer's Award and the 2015 Juniper Prize for Fiction. Her short story collection is The Other One.

Palvashay Sethi is a writer and a teacher whose experimental short stories and nonfiction work have appeared in Barrelhouse, minor literature[s], Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Aleph Review, Severine magazine, and DAWN.

Feroz Rather is a doctoral candidate of creative writing at Florida State University. His work has appeared in The Common, The Kenyon Review, The Ploughshares Blog, The Millions, The Rumpus, and in Mad Heart, Be Brave: On the Poetry of Agha Shahid Ali. The Night of Broken Glass is his first book.

Aditya Desai's stories, essays, and poems have appeared in B O D Y, The Rumpus, the Millions, the Margins, District Lit, the Kartika Review, the Aerogram, and others. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Maryland, College Park. He currently teaches writing at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center