Institute of Modern Languages Research appoints its first Luisa Selis Fellow

Tuesday 6 December 2016

US academic Professor Sonita Sarker can add another visiting fellowship to her résumé, after she accepted an appointment as visiting fellow at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study (SAS).

A respected professor of English and of women's, gender, and sexuality studies at Macalester College, Minnesota, she is the first recipient of the Luisa Selis Fellowship at SAS’s Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR).

This new fellowship at IMLR, one of SAS’s nine humanities research institutes, is funded by the Fondazione di Sardegna in memory of the eminent anthropologist Luisa Selis, a specialist in the cultural memory of Sardinia. Professor Sarker will take up her position in May 2017.

For the first time a scholar working in the field of cultural memory – ie ethnography, anthropology and/or literature – will be able to spend three months pursuing research at IMLR’s Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory and at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Londra (IIC). While in London, Professor Sarker will research two important Sardinians: Grazia Deledda (1871–1936), the 1926 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and Antonio Gramsci, political theorist and sociologist (1891–1937).

Professor Sarker is a specialist in feminist postmodern and postcolonial theories, 20th and 21st century transnational comparative women's writing, and socio-political activism. She is also a prolific author and essayist, whose publications and collections include Trans-Status Subjects: Gender in the Globalization of South and Southeast Asia, Sustainable Feminisms and The Gender of Moderni.

She is the recipient of awards from the Ford, Mellon, Bush, Hewlett, FaCE and Wallace Foundations, and is currently the chair of international relations at the Modernist Studies Association based at Baltimore’s John Hopkins University.

The Luisa Selis Fellowship is open to UK and overseas applicants. To be considered, they are expected to have completed a doctorate, or be in the final stages of their PhD, and demonstrate a strong publications record.


Notes to Editors:
1. For all enquiries, please contact: Maureen McTaggart, Media and Public Relations Officer, School of Advanced Study, University of London +44 (0)20 7862 8859 /

2. The Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) was established in 2004 through a merger of the Institute of Germanic Studies and the Institute of Romance Studies, founded in 1950 and 1989 respectively. Until August 2013, IMLR was known as the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies when it was renamed to emphasise its national research role and to embrace its wider remit. The Institute is committed to facilitating, initiating and promoting dialogue and research for the Modern Languages community.

3. The School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London is the UK’s national centre for the promotion and support of research in the humanities. SAS and its member institutes offer unparalleled academic opportunities, facilities and stimulation across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. In 2015-16, SAS: welcomed 786 research fellows and associates; held 2,007 research dissemination events; received 24.4 million visits to its digital research resources and platforms; and received 194,145 visits to its specialist libraries and collections. The School also leads the UK’s only nationwide festival of the humanities: Being Human. Find out more at or follow SAS on Twitter at @SASNews

4. The University of London is a federal University and is one of the oldest, largest and most diverse universities in the UK. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the university is recognised globally as a world leader in higher education. Its members are 18 self-governing institutions of outstanding reputation, together with a number of prestigious central academic bodies and activities. Learn more about the University of London at