Namrata writes fiction, non-fiction, and teaches multiethnic American literature for the Honors Collegium at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her work explores the intersection of power, privilege, storytelling and social justice–via race, class, gender, place and migration.
As a literary critic, her work has focused on maritime sites (boats, ports and beaches), global travel, environmentalism, tourism, and alternative models of multiculturalism in tropical islands. She has written on islands in English and in French for various journals and special issues on the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the Indian Ocean. Her short fiction, literary journalism and translations have appeared in Transition, The Margins, Literary Hub, Literary Orphans, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, Resilience, The Feminist Wire, The Caravan, The Aerogram, Jaggery, Necessary Fiction, and elsewhere. Her story “Excursion” was awarded the first prize at the contest organized by 14th international short story conference 2016, held in Shanghai, and judged by Bharati Mukherjee and Clark Blaise. She has spoken on Anglophone and Francophone postcolonial storytelling in conferences across the world, and taught the same at different institutions in India and the US. These days, she writes about power play and colonial assumptions in the practice of transmedia storytelling–be it in a contemporary American literary landscape, mainstream journalism, pop culture, or elsewhere. Recently, she also joined the team of Kweli journal as Interviews Editor where she’ll be a curating a series titled “Race, Power, and Storytelling.”
Namrata has a Ph.D. in French Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Benjamin Franklin fellow and held editorial fellowships for African Studies Center and French Forum, a leading journal of French and Francophone literature and film, and an MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars, where she received Liam Rector scholarship for fiction. She has served as Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Humanities program, “Cultures in Transnational Perspective” and has taught in the departments of English, African, Global, French and Francophone Studies at UCLA. She was accepted into Tin House Summer 2016 Workshop, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist and Writer's Residency Program in Mexico, has received scholarships from The Grub Street's Annual 2016 Conference: “The Muse & The Marketplace,” BinderCon LA 2017, and a 2017 Faculty fellowship from “The OpEd Project: Write to Change the World,” selected from nine UC campuses by the University of California, Merced's Center for the Humanities. She has lived in Mumbai and Kolkata (India), Tours and Avignon (France), Quatre Bornes (Mauritius), Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and currently resides at Huntington Beach, California.