Bio


Roanne Kantor's primary field is Global Anglophone literature and its relationship to other literary traditions of the Global South. She also works on the conditions for interdisciplinary research in the humanities, especially literature's interface with medicine and the humanistic social sciences. Kantor is also a translator and the winner of the Susan Sontag Prize for Translation. Before coming to Stanford, Kantor taught at Harvard, Boston University, Brandeis, and The University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her Masters and Ph.D.

Academic Appointments


  • Assistant Professor, English

Program Affiliations


  • Modern Thought and Literature

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, Comparative Literature (2015)
  • M.A., University of Texas at Austin, Comparative Literature (2011)
  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Comparative Literature (2008)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Roanne Kantor works on the rise of the Global Anglophone and its relationship to other literary traditions of the Global South. Her first book project, Gain the World, treats the century-long connection between South Asian and Latin American literatures, a relationship that has remained "unexpected" in literary criticism even as Latin American texts paved the way for the popular explosion of South Asian Anglophone literature at the end of the millennium. For decades, individual South Asian and Latin American travelers forged a vision of World Literature that could have connected their homelands outside the mediation of English or the economic interests of its empires. Eventually, the Latin American “boom” of the 1960s and 70s created both a stylistic and economic blueprint for the rise of South Asian Anglophone fiction after 1981. But there was a catch: that literature reached South Asian writers only in English translation, and the writing it inspired emerged in English, too. This book follows those writers who acted as the vanguard of what they dreamed might be a new literary order. And then it traces how that dream died, even as a hauntingly similar reality, the Global Anglophone, took its place. Echoing the lyrics of an old Urdu film song about the tension between materialism and art, they seem to ask: “Even if you gain the world, what have you got?”

Her more recent research explores the conditions for interdisciplinary research in the humanities, especially connections with medicine and the social sciences. Collected under the provisional title Figures of Suspicion, the various case studies in this project focus on the symbolism that undergirds narratives about health and public policy in India, illuminating how interdisciplinary study both requires and runs aground on shared metaphors. Figures is a meditation on method: showing how reading for narrative in allied fields like anthropology, medicine, and performance exposes underlying conflicts in literary studies. Operating across discourses, figurative language offers an essential window onto such conflicts, and their potential solutions.

2019-20 Courses


All Publications