Decolonizing American Literature: The Goals, Challenges, and Strategies of Writers

Room 2502A, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2
Thursday, February 8, 2024
10:35 am to 11:50 am


Four writers will discuss decolonizing American literature through the examples of literary works in the colonial languages of English and French from Black, brown, and Asian writers across the world, as well as literature in Indian languages, including Urdu and Bengali. Panelists will discuss the goals of decolonial anglophone literature and consider the challenges and strategies of writers confronting imperial patterns in American Literature.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: 2024-02_AWP_OUTLINE.pdf



Gemini Wahhaj is the author of the novel The Children of This Madness (7.13 Books, fall 2023) and the short story collection Katy Family (Jackleg Press, spring 2025). Her fiction is in or forthcoming in Granta, Third Coast, Chicago Quarterly Review, and other magazines. PhD, fiction, U Houston.

Sehba Sarwar is a novelist (Black Wings, Veliz Books 2019) whose writings tackle gender and displacement issues. Her short stories have been anthologized by Feminist Press, Akashic Books, and Harper Collins India, and her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Callaloo, LA Times, and elsewhere.

Oindrila Mukherjee is the author of the novel The Dream Builders. She is an associate professor of writing at Grand Valley State University. The recipient of fellowships from Emory University and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, she is a contributing editor for the literary magazine Aster(Ix).

Namrata Poddar is the author of the award-winning debut novel Border Less, an essayist, interviews editor for Kweli, and faculty of writing & literature at UCLA. Her work has appeared in Longreads, Literary Hub, Kenyon Review, Poets & Writers, L.A. Times, The Best Asian Short Stories, and elsewhere.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center