Photo of Agnani, Sunil

Sunil Agnani

Associate Professor

English and History


Building & Room:

2000 UH


601 S Morgan St.

Office Phone:

(312) 413-2239



Sunil Agnani holds a joint appointment as an Associate Professor with the Department of English and the Department of History, and teaches courses on the European Enlightenment, eighteenth-century British and French literature and thought, and on the literature of empire and decolonization. His book, Hating Empire Properly: The Two Indies and the Limits of Enlightenment Anticolonialism (New York: Fordham University Press/Kindle version, 2013) was awarded the Harry Levin Prize for Best First Book by the American Comparative Literature Association in 2014, and reads the literature of the Enlightenment in relation to debates in postcolonial thought. Other representative publications include: an essay on the idea of "consensual colonialism" in thought of Denis Diderot entitled “Doux commerce, douce colonisation” in The Anthropology of the Enlightenment (Stanford UP, 2007); an examination of Edmund Burke’s writings on France in relation to his involvement in Indian affairs, “Jacobinism in India, Indianism in English Parliament” (Cultural Critique, Winter 2008); and “India and Haiti as Colonial Spaces of the Enlightenment” in L’Inde des Lumières; Entre l’orientalisme et les sciences sociales, (Purushartha 31, École des Hautes Études Press, Jan 2013); "Colonial Ressentiment, Enlightenment Thought, and the Impasses of Decolonization." Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, Vol 56 (Autumn 2016); and “The Reception of Edmund Burke's Imperial Ideas Relating to India, or Burke, the Brahmin and the Hot-House.” London: Bloomsbury Press/Continuum, 2017.

In 2016-2017, he was a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities at UIC. He is the Director of Graduate Studies in English for the 2017-2018 year (on leave until Spring 2020).


Research Areas

18th C. British Literature | Comparative Literature | Critical Theory | Postcolonial Studies