BODILY: The Immigrant Body in the Court of Judgment with Amitava Kumar

General Programming

  • Free and open to the public
  • No registration necessary
  • First come, first seated

Dr. Amitava Kumar will read from, and discuss, his recent novel Immigrant, Montana. One of The New Yorker‘s Best Books of 2018 and a New York Times Notable Book of 2018, the novel follows the protagonist Kailash on his American dream from a village in India to graduate school in New York, and focuses on the intersections of the sexual and the political.

Dr. Bruce Robbins, Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, will offer a brief response and then be in conversation with Dr. Kumar.

cosponsored by the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, the Institute for Religion, Culture & Public Life, Department of English and Comparative Literature, and The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.


Amitava Kumar is a writer and journalist. He was born in Ara, India, and grew up in the nearby town of Patna, famous for its corruption, crushing poverty, and delicious mangoes. Kumar is the author of several books of nonfiction and two novels. His prize-winning book A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb (2010) was described by The New York Times as a “perceptive and soulful … meditation on the global war on terror and its cultural and human repercussions.” His latest book, Immigrant, Montana: A Novel (2018) was named one of the books of the year by The New Yorker and included in the list of notable books of the year by The New York Times. Kumar lives in Poughkeepsie, in upstate New York, where he is Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College. Professor Kumar has been honored with residencies at Yaddo, the Norman Mailer Center, and Bellagio; he has also been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as a Ford Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists.