Zahid R. Chaudhary specializes in postcolonial studies, visual culture, and critical theory. His first book, Afterimage of Empire: Photography in Nineteenth-Century India, provides a historical and philosophical account of early photography in India, analyzing how aesthetic experiments in colonial photographic practice shed light on the changing nature of perception and notions of truth, memory, and embodiment. His current book project, Impunity: Notes on a Global Tendency, analyzes juridical, economic, political, and aesthetic aspects of the practices of impunity from the Cold War to the present, from postcolonial states to the United States. The book considers documentary film, contemporary art, development projects, and architecture. He has also published articles in differences, Cultural Critique, boundary 2, South Asia, and Camera Obscura.


Cornell University (Ph.D.)

Colby College (B.A.)

Other Publications

“Aesthetics of Expropriation: Abstraction in Fazal Sheikh’s Desert Bloom.” Forthcoming in OctoberSpring 2019.


“Sacrificial Citizenship: On Muslims and Assimilation in a Neoliberal Frame.” Forthcoming in Social Text.Summer 2019.


“What is the Future of Psychoanalysis in the Academy?” Questionnaire response. Psychoanalysis and History20.1 (2018). 23.

“Colonial Violence and Photography” in The Uprising of 1857: The Alkazi Collection of Photography. Ed. Rosie Lellywellyn-Jones, Grantha Press: 2017. pp. 192-215.


“Domesticity and Kitsch in Amber Hammad’s photography.” PIX Magazine. New Delhi: December 2014. 


“On Seeing Secundrabagh.” Essay in catalogue for The Transparent Performer/Surface Tension(performance) by Zuleikha Chaudhari. January 2014.


Editor’s Introduction. “Inhabitations: A Feminist Formations Dossier on Robyn Wiegman’s Object Lessons.” Feminist Formations. 25:3 (Winter 2013) 129-135.


“The Labor of Mimesis” Social Semiotics. 20:4 (Sept 2010) 357-365.

 Phantasmagoric Aesthetics: Colonial Violence and the Management of Perception.” Cultural Critique59 (Winter 2005), pp.63-119

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