While Dr Ankhi Mukherjee's first monograph, Aesthetic Hysteria, drew largely on Victorian literature and culture, her current book project, “What is a Classic?” Postcolonial Rewriting and Invention of the Canon, uses select events in contemporary literature and literary criticism to examine how the canon is historically constituted and transmitted, and how classics are created in this global age. She proposes that the canon, and the dominant modalities in which it is received, afford a site of historical emergence through which both the postcolonial novel and contemporary literary criticism can fruitfully rethink their cultural identity and politics. The study draws on a wide range of literary examples, from Conrad and Eliot to Naipaul, Said, Walcott, and Coetzee, the conflict of interpretations offered by postcolonial rewritings of canonical literary texts, the emergence of English as a global vernacular, the travels and travails of the Shakespearean text in India. It also highlights the role of literary criticism in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries in articulating the time, space, and critical language for the emergent ‘Literatures in English.’
She is also co-editing, with Laura Marcus, the Blackwell Companion to Literary Criticism and Psychoanalysis, a project that showcases path breaking new work by thirty leading Anglo-American critics in the field of literary psychoanalysis. Her next book project, Seminar Slumdog brings together her specialism in psychoanalysis and her cultural roots in South Asia as she examines the relationship between poverty and psychoanalysis through the representation of poverty in South Asian literature and cinema, and its relation to institutional psychoanalytic approaches in the West toward the psychic maladies of the poor.