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Photo of Mufti, Nasser

Nasser Mufti

Associate Professor



Building & Room:

2022 UH


601 S Morgan St.



Nasser Mufti’s research and teaching focuses on nineteenth century British and postcolonial literature, as well as critical and political theory. He is especially interested in literary approaches to the study of nationalism. His first book, Civilizing War: Imperial Politics and the Poetics of National Rupture (Northwestern University Press, 2018) (online version and PDF) argues that narratives of civil war energized and animated nineteenth-century British imperialism and decolonization in the twentieth century. The conceptual core of the book adapts a famous phrase of Benedict Anderson to asks what it means to “un-imagine” community, while its historical arc tracks the shifts in narratives of civil war from the Victorian period to the age of decolonization to the contemporary refugee crisis. Civilizing War was winner of the 2019 Gustave O. Arlt Award, and runner-up for the 2020 Sonya Rudikoff First Book Prize.

He is now pursuing two research tracks. The first, tentatively titled Britain’s Nineteenth Century, 1963-4, looks at how anticolonial and postcolonial thinkers from the Anglophone world turned to nineteenth century British literature and culture as a way to think decolonization. Far from a symptom of Macaulayism or proof of anticolonial nationalism’s “derivative” quality, this project argues that Britain's nineteenth century functioned as a discursive “field of intelligibility” into the problematic of decolonization. The second research project, titled “Colonia Moralia,” examines the dialectics of postcolonial Enlightenment through comparative readings of T.W. Adorno and V.S. Naipaul.

His work has appeared in The Journal of Narrative TheoryNOVELNineteenth Century LiteratureVictorian Literature and CultureVictorian Studiesb2o: An Online JournalModernism/Modernity South Asian Review, The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature, as well as in Decolonizing the English Literary Curriculum.


Research Areas

19th C. British Literature | Critical Theory | Postcolonial Studies