Meet Professor Alia Somani (English and Postcolonial Literature)

Photo: Alia Somani

Photo: Alia Somani

Alia Somani is delighted to join Sheridan College as a Professor of English and Postcolonial Literature. Before coming to Sheridan, Alia taught at various colleges and universities including Trent University, Centennial College, and the University of Toronto. Alia holds a Ph.D from the University of Western Ontario, where she specialized in Postcolonial and World Literature, and Diaspora Studies. Her doctoral research focused on the intersections between memory, trauma, and literary fictions, and looked specifically at instances of trauma experienced by diasporic groups in Canada.

In addition to her academic research, Alia enjoys creative and journalistic writing. After she completed her Master’s degree, Alia spent time in India where she worked in Mumbai at a local NGO called the Centre for the Study of Society and Secularism and wrote about the 2002 Gujarat riots. More recently, Alia had the opportunity to work with local actors in Toronto and to write and direct her own play. Alia’s publications have appeared in various journals such as South Asian Diaspora, Postcolonial Text, and Topic: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies.

Alia Somani answers Alchemy’s Proust Questionnaire:

Favourite virtue: Idealism.

My favourite qualities in a student: Flexible, curious, and unafraid.

My favourite qualities in a teacher: Flexible, curious, and unafraid.

My idea of perfect happiness: Sitting in my parents’ living room and chatting with the family. It sounds mundane, but it really is my idea of perfect happiness.

My least favourite word: Random.

My favourite quotation, motto, or phrase: “To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture.” – Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks.

If I weren’t a teacher I’d be: An investigative journalist.

The talent or skill I wish I had: The ability to sing and act.

My favourite historical, literary, or cinematic character(s): Noor Jahan, 17th Century Empress of the Mughal Empire.

My guilty TV/film/gaming pleasure: Law and Order reruns. Or Criminal Minds. (Definitely a guilty pleasure!)