Namrata Poddar is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor in French & Francophone, and African Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her Ph.D. in French studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Summer 2010 where she defended her dissertation titled “Paradoxes of Insularity: Re-navigating the Island through the Contemporary Mauritian Francophone Novel.” Her doctoral thesis explores the various ways in which the boat, port and the beach – as a nexus of dynamic maritime sites in Mauritian fiction – instantiate a paradoxical poetics of insularity and (minor) transnationalism. She has published articles and book reviews on postcolonial island cultures in different academic journals and is currently working at expanding her doctoral dissertation into a book publication. Her research is situated at the intersection of diaspora, postcolonial, transnational, urban, tourism and literary-environmental studies. In addition to teaching and research, she enjoys creative writing on the side and is working on her first novel.