Akash Belsare is a dual-title Ph.D. candidate in English and African American and Diaspora Studies studying contemporary multi-ethnic literature. Akash’s research interests include critical race theory, comparative race studies, and feminist theory. His dissertation project, “Humanimal Narratives: Genre and Animality in Contemporary Ethnic Literatures,” asks how authors of color engage with animals in contemporary literature—despite (or due to) a deep history in which nonhuman animals and raced bodies have been primitivized, animalized, or otherwise marginalized alongside each other—and what results from this engagement. By attending to the entanglement of human-animal encounters in contemporary ethnic fiction, Akash demonstrates how representations of the animal can embody dehumanist epistemologies of relationality beyond the scope of Western taxonomies.
Akash previously served as the Managing Editor for Verge: Studies in Global Asias (UMN Press), a journal in Asian and Asian American Studies, headed by PSU Professor Tina Chen.