Distinguished Research Professor 2014
Dorothy Figueira, professor of comparative literature, is one of the most prominent scholars in the field of Indian-Western literary and cultural relations, having made major contributions to discussions of the issues surrounding cultural studies, minority studies, multiculturalism and postcolonialism. Figueria has authored four books, with a fifth currently under review, in which she investigates the exoticism of the Indian texts and the Orient; orientalist thinking in 19th- and 20th-century German, French and English scholarship; a multifaceted history of the Aryan myth within both Western and Indian culture; and, in her most recently published monograph, she examines a host of contemporary cultural and theoretical discourses in the humanities and social sciences centered on engagement with the Other. Throughout her work, a commitment to historical fact, philological accuracy and theoretical clarity has guided her analyses. Such exceptional work has been possible because of her remarkable ability to work in eight languages and her deep familiarity with the cultures of both the West and India.