Gnei Soraya Zarook

A.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences, Ventura College, Ventura

B.A. in English, California State University Channel Islands, Camarillo

M.A. in English, University of California Riverside, Riverside


Research areas

Sri Lankan / South Asian Anglophone literature, Sri Lankan / South Asian American literature, the Sri Lankan civil war, trauma theory, postcolonial studies, feminist studies, diaspora studies

My interests lie at the intersection of language, trauma, and otherness. I’m currently interested in examining how South Asian American / Anglophone literature depicts life lived within and around trauma. Specifically, I look at how these depictions illustrate trauma as operating differently from its theorizations by traditional, Western-oriented trauma studies.



President, Graduate Students in English Association at UC Riverside (2017-2018)

Co-Chair, (Dis)junctions Graduate Conference at UC Riverside (2017-2018)

Representative, Graduate Student English Association at UC Riverside (2016-2017)

Co-Founder, Asian American / Anglophone Literature Reading Group at UC Riverside (2016-present)

Co-Founder, Explosions and Survival Reading Group at UC Riverside, (2017-present)

Co-Chair, “The Inadequate Human: A Mini Symposium on Gender, Disability, and Robots” at California State University Channel Islands (2015)


Conference Presentations

“In front of us the way is seen, but behind us the road is gone”: Counter-Moments to Trauma in Shyam Selvadurai’s The Hungry Ghosts and Jean Arasanayagam’s “All is Burning.” Paper presented at American Comparative Literature Society’s Annual Conference, March 2018.

“‘I try to explain love in shillings’: Harboring Love and Remittances in Shailja Patel’s Migritude.” Paper presented at the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States Conference. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, April 2017.

“The Global South Speaks Back: Queering Love and Remittances in Shailja Patel’s Migritude.” Paper presented at The Deep South in the Global South Conference. University of Louisiana at Lafayette, April 2017

“Killing Theory: A Defiance of Trauma Theory in Nayomi Munaweera’s Island of a Thousand Mirrors.” Paper presented at (E)racing Theory, (En)gendering Praxis Conference. University of California, Irvine, March 2017.

“Humanity for Robots: A Guide to Passing as a Person.” Paper co-presented with Ande Murphy at the 30th Annual California State University Student Research Competition. California State University Bakersfield, April 2016.

“Imagine me”: Why We Might Want to Imagine Humbert in Vladimir Nabakov’s Lolita.” Paper presented at the 7th Annual Sage Student Research Conference. California State University Channel Islands, May 2015