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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Professor Profile: Rajini Srikanth

Rajini Srikanth
Rajini Srikanth

Associate Professor Rajini Srikanth wrote her doctoral dissertation on Nobel Prize winning American author William Faulkner while working toward her Ph.D. in English from SUNY at Buffalo. Now, almost 30 years after moving to the United States from her native India, Srikanth will revisit her own graduate work, highlighting Faulkner in her Studies in Fiction course this semester. A member of the UMB English department since 1998, Srikanth has lightened her teaching load to one or two courses per semester since her activation as Director of the University Honors Program this past September. According to the program website, the Honors Program at UMass is designed to enrich students’ academic experiences in a challenging environment. The program boasts smaller class sizes that bring both teachers and pupils together, internship and scholarship opportunities, and specialized advising. Srikanth admits that her new position comes along with new responsibilities, but she remains eager to continue the transition for the spring semester. Having received her undergraduate degree from India’s Bangalore University, Srikanth plans to integrate an interdisciplinary and global perspective into the Honors Program. In addition to managing the program curriculum, Srikanth’s duties also include recruiting both faculty and students. As director, she looks forward to the creativity the position allows for, and is happy for the opportunity to “exercise her own vision.” Since coming to UMass Boston, Professor Srikanth has taught classes ranging in subject matter from post-apartheid South Africa to Asian American Literature and has been equally passionate about each, and her love for teaching extends beyond course content to the nature of how that content is delivered in the classroom. With expertise in American Literature, and an emphasis on Asian-American Literature and literature of the American South, Srikanth has authored and co-authored a number of works, including her most recent The World Next Door: South Asian American Literature and the Idea of America. She values UMass Boston for its “impressive intellectual breadth” and the camaraderie of the faculty. “There is a closeness here that I have not seen on other campuses, and I have been on quite a few,” she says. Srikanth continues that the students at UMB are among the most engaging she has encountered, thus demanding meaningful education from their professors. Professor Rajini Srikanth is eager to continue to meet those demands now as both a professor and director.