Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Degree Program

Humanities, PhD

Committee Chair

Bertacco, Simona

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

McLeod, John

Committee Member

McLeod, John

Committee Member

Griner, Paul

Committee Member

Omer-Sherman, Ranen


This dissertation is a combined creative and critical project consisting a novel and a theoretical component. The novel entitled In the Time of the Others is a fictional account set during the true event of the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. Using the war as a backdrop, the novel tells the story of one man trying to manage his family, marriage, and financial situation by returning to an inheritance he never claimed. The journey brings him from his home in southern East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh) to the capital city Dhaka, to the home of his maternal uncle and aunt under whose charge his mother had left the inheritance. Within days of his arrival the military regime of West Pakistan declares a crackdown on Dhaka, and East Pakistan, and the war that will eventually bring about the new independent state of Bangladesh begins. The novel encompasses the nine-months of the war, showing through the various journeys of its main and supporting characters a people and their identity and culture seeking to establish an independent country the making of a postcolonial state and the emergence of a postcolonial nation-state from Bengali nationalism to Bangladeshi sovereignty. The critical analysis uses postcolonial theory to frame the creation of Bangladesh as a case study in postcolonial state and nation-state formation. In sections that examine the background of events from the end of British rule in the Indian Subcontinent in 1947 to Bengali identity and Bengali nationalism, fundamental European theories of nation, nationalism, and sovereignty that cannot be applied wholesale to the Subcontinent, to the intervention of Bangladesh and its emergence as a postcolonial state and postcolonial nation-state the theoretical and critical analyses are proposed. Also examined is the novel as the representative and chosen form of writers in postcolonial literature to imagine, re-imagine, contextualize, and decolonize the postcolonial nation through fiction.