Sunil Agnani
Assistant Professor
Department of History and Department of English


Sunil Agnani has a joint appointment with the Department of History and the Department of English. He teaches courses on the European Enlightenment, eighteenth-century British and French thought, and on the literature of empire and decolonization. He is currently completing a book manuscript, "Enlightenment Universalism and Colonial Knowledge: Denis Diderot and Edmund Burke," which reads the literature of the Enlightenment in relation to debates in postcolonial thought. Recent publications include an essay on Denis Diderot entitled "Doux commerce, douce colonisation" in The Anthropology of the Enlightenment (Stanford UP, 2007) and an article examining Edmund Burke's writings on France in relation to his involvement in Indian affairs, "Jacobinism in India, Indianism in English Parliament" (Cultural Critique, Winter 2008). His research aims to unite a training in literary fields and methodologies with an interdisciplinary approach that draws on cultural theory and the history of political thought to engage critically with European literature and thought of the eighteenth century.