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Dr Churnjeet Mahn

Strathclyde Chancellor'S Fellow

English

Personal statement

My research falls into two broad areas: travel writing and heritage, and studies of race and sexuality. Much of my work to date has focussed on heritage in conflict and narratives of cultural memory and amnesia. My first book approached this issue through an overview of British women’s writing about Greece in the wake of its independence from the Ottoman Empire. I have a special interest in the way sections of national history are ‘erased’ from view, especially in the context of sites connected to heritage or tourism. Alongside this, I developed an interest in queer travel writing and tourism, especially in the context of race and faith.

With both projects I have experience of working with community organisations and groups to co-design and produce events, workshops and influence organisational change. From 2013 I have been collaborating with the Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative (CRCI) on a project centred around the Grand Trunk Road, a preliminary website of our work can be found here:http://thegtroad.com/. We have worked together on grassroots conservation initiatives in an area of East Punjab that was historically Muslim, but post-partition, is dominated by Sikhs. From 2014 I have been working with a refugee organisation in London to think about how to create and sustain inclusive LGBT spaces, especially in a youth context. We have a special interest in forms of co-design that bring together creative work, participatory methods and community activism. I also have an interest in Scottish Asian writing and cultural productions, especially in the context of dual or mixed heritage and its relationship to Scottish nationalism. 

Publications

Travel writing and sexuality : queering the genre
Mahn Churnjeet
The Routledge Companion to Travel WritingThe Routledge Companion to Travel Writing, (2016)
The virtual tourist gaze in Greece, 1897–1905
Mahn Churnjeet
Annals of Tourism Research Vol 48, pp. 193-206, (2014)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2014.06.001
Introduction : Transnational lesbian culture
Bauer Heike, Mahn Churnjeet
Journal of Lesbian Studies Vol 18, pp. 203-208, (2014)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10894160.2014.896608
Relighting the fire : visualizing the lesbian in contemporary India
Mahn Churnjeet, Watt Diane
Journal of Lesbian Studies Vol 18, pp. 223-236, (2014)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10894160.2014.896611
The queer limits of Pratibha Parmar's Nina's Heavenly Delights
Mahn Churnjeet
Journal of Lesbian Studies Vol 17, pp. 317-328, (2013)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10894160.2013.731872
Book review : Sukanya Banerjee, Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late Victorian Empire
Mahn Churnjeet
Victoriographies Vol 3, pp. 85-86, (2013)
http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/vic.2013.0112

more publications

Professional activities

Journal of Lesbian Studies (Journal)
Editorial board member
2015
Peter Lang Pub Inc (Publisher)
Editorial board member
2015
Special Panel on 'Usable History'
Contributor
2015
Creating LGBT Spaces in a Refugee Organisation
Contributor
2015
British Women's Travel to Greece
Invited speaker
2014
Humanities Research and Conserving Heritage
Invited speaker
2014

more professional activities

Projects

Connecting States of Desire: Sustaining LGBTQ Lives in a Refugee Organisation
Mahn, Churnjeet (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-May-2015 - 31-Jan-2016
Sustaining LGBTQ Lives in a Refugee Organisation
Mahn, Churnjeet (Principal Investigator)
This is a co-designed and collaborative project focussing on using humanities research to open up discussions of LGB identities in a refugee organisation.
Period 01-Dec-2014
Disaster Tourism and Memorialisation in New Orleans
Mahn, Churnjeet (Co-investigator)
This is a collaborative project between academics in literary studies and tourism to analyse processes of memorialisation in post-Katrina New Orleans with a special focus on race and heritage. The project collaborators are: Prof Justin D Edwards (University of Surrey), Dr Caroline Scarles (University of Surrey) and Prof John Tribe (University of Surrey).
Period 01-Apr-2014 - 01-Dec-2014
Creative Interruptions: grassroots culture, state structures and disconnection as a space for 'radical openness' (AHRC)
Mahn, Churnjeet (CoI)
Creative Interruptions will examine how grassroots cultural initiatives generate a critical space for 'bottom-up' creativity in a range of contexts of disconnection in the UK and internationally. The research identifies how processes of disconnection, exclusion and marginalisation impact on creative practitioners and disconnected communities and how arts and media forms are utilised to make meaning and 'creatively interrupt' state structures and dominant modes of representation. By co-designing an exploration of practice on the ground, the project will interface with a range of disconnected social groups and produce an edgy, self-reflexive and field-defining piece of international research.
Period 01-Oct-2014 - 31-Mar-2015
Where we are not: the contribution of disconnection, division and exclusion to imaginative (im)mobility (AHRC)
Mahn, Churnjeet (Co-investigator)
This research considers the role of imaginative mobility (the creativity of the mind) in connecting people to imaginative communities. Imaginative communities may be based on nostalgia or have no basis in lived reality. They may be influenced by literature, art, travel writing, and religion. We will explore how arts practice can be used to transform imaginative mobilities into works of art (e.g. performance, film, pictures) and how the curation of these art forms may help us to understand our own situation, empathise with others, and contribute to social connectivity or the sense of belonging.
Period 01-Oct-2014 - 31-Mar-2015
A Punjabi Palimpsest (AHRC)
Mahn, Churnjeet (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Jun-2013 - 30-Jun-2014

more projects