Sharada Balachandran Orihuela is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature, and affiliate faculty in the Department of American Studies, the U.S. Latina/o Studies Program, the Asian American Studies Program, and the Latin American Studies Center at the University of Maryland, College Park.
She is currently completing her first book project tentatively titled, “Undocumented: Piracy and Personhood in Hemispheric American Literature.” “Undocumented” examines depictions of illegal trade and making them prominent in the analysis of American literature and in the construction of minoritarian racial, national, and gendered identities in the U.S. Piracy is a response to the social, political, and economic isolation endured by subjects left out in the narrow and exclusionary logics of citizenship, and is a critical strategy that women, slaves, and colonial subjects can use as a means of self-representation and self-creation through property ownership while living under a condition of erasure and abjection. The subjects under scrutiny in this book include hemispheric pirates, enslaved Black subjects in the antebellum South, Mexicans living along the U.S.-Mexico border in the years leading up to and immediately following the Mexican American War of 1848, and Confederate blockade-runners during the Civil War.
The rich archival work necessary for this research project has been supported by the American Antiquarian Society, the Cuban Heritage Collection, the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas, the Consortium for Women and Research, and the Chicana/Latina Research Center at UC Davis. She has received numerous awards including an NEH Summer Institute Fellowship, the UC MEXUS- CONACyT Doctoral Fellowship, the Marilyn Yarborough Dissertation and Teaching Fellowship at Kenyon College, the UC Davis Humanities Graduate Research Award, the UC Davis Department of English Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship, the Professors for the Future Fellowship, and the Chancellor’s Teaching Fellowship. As evidenced in her research interests, she is particularly invested in interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to teaching literature.
Her articles and reviews have appeared in Arizona Quarterly, J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, Comparative Literature Studies, MELUS, and e-misférica. She has also contributed entries to The Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies and the Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture.
Her next book-length project will study narconarratives, and the international discourse on terrorism and drug prohibition in contemporary literature of the Americas.
University of California, Davis, CA
Doctor of Philosophy in English. Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research.
Mills College, Oakland, CA
Bachelor of Arts in English, with Honors.
“Maria’s Rebellion: Gayl Jones’s Mosquito and the Problem of Recognition.” Arizona Quarterly. 73.1 (Spring 2017).
Review of Contemporary Caribbean Writing and Deleuze: Literature Between Postcolonialism and Post-Continental Philosophy, by Lorna Burns. Comparative Literature Studies. 52.2 (Spring 2015).
“The Black Market: Property, Freedom, and Piracy in Martin Delany’s Blake, Or the Huts of America.” J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. 2.2 (Fall 2014).
Review of Race, Romance, and Rebellion: Literatures of the Americas in the Nineteenth Century, by Colleen O’Brien. MELUS. 39.3 (Fall 2014).
Review of Constructing Global Enemies: Hegemony and Identity in International Discourses on Terrorism and Drug Prohibition, by Eva Herschinger. e-misférica 8.2 (2012).
(with Andrew Hageman) “The Virtual Realities of U.S./Mexico Border Ecologies in Maquilapolis and Sleep Dealer.” Coloring the Lens: Cinema, New Media, and Just Sustainability. Spec. issue of Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture 5.2 (June 2011). Assigned reading for the “Ecological Media & Ecocriticism” seminar at the 2011 Association for the Study of Literature and Environment Conference.
Translation. “Transculturation” for English edition of Dictionary of Latin American Cultural Studies. Eds. Robert McKee Irwin and Mónica Szurmuk. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2012.
“Indians and the Caribbean.” Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture. Ed. Carol Boyce Davies. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2008.
American Antiquarian Society Short Term Fellowship, 2015
NEH Summer Institute Fellowship: Meanings of Property, 2014
Research and Scholarship Award, University of Maryland, 2014
Marilyn Yarbrough Dissertation and Teaching Fellowship. Kenyon College, 2011-2012
UC Davis Humanities Graduate Research Award, 2011-2012
Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship, English Department, UC Davis, 2010-2011
Cuban Heritage Collection Research Fellowship. University of Miami, 2010
Professors for the Future Fellowship Program, UC Davis, 2010-2011
Nominee, Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, UC Davis, 2010-2011
UC MEXUS- CONACyT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) Doctoral Fellowship, 2005- 2010
Chancellor’s Teaching Fellowship, UC Davis, 2009-2010
Hemispheric Institute on the Americas Research Grant. Biblioteca Especializada del Centro de Estudios Martíanos, Havana, Cuba, 2009
Chicana/Latina Research Center Research Grant. Texas A&M University, 2008
Fellow, UC Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, UC Davis, 2008-2010
Nominee, Horst Frenz Prize for Best Graduate Student Paper, ACLA Annual Conference, 2007