Writ Large


I write about Disneyland, diaspora, doppelgängers, Tamil poetry, the Trans- Siberian railroad, church and state, conceptual art, house music undergrounds, aspirationally B-movies, and Yellow Magic Orchestra. My essays and cultural criticism appear in publications like The Washington Post, n+1, The Baffler, The Point, The Believer, frieze, BOMB, The Georgia Review, and others. I’m mostly interested in associative connections between philosophy and the everyday textures of life.  Also Kierkegaard.

I’m currently working on essay collection called Original Copy, about inauthenticity and the critique of  representation through masks, dopplegangers, and colonial mimicry. 

Among things that move me: Soviet cinema, third world feminism, religion especially of an existentialist flavor, psychoanalysis, and the nature of representation in politics and in art (esp lens-based and conceptual).

I’m currently a Bolin Fellow in philosophy at Williams College. In 2024, I will be an Assistant Professor in philosophy at Vassar College.
In a previous slice of this life, I did a Fulbright in Vladivostok, Russia (и постаянно скучаю по русскому языку), and graduated with degrees from Columbia, Oxford and Princeton. These days, I live in New York.

You can email me at: <shivani[dot] radhakrishnan [at] gmail [dot] com >

I tweet, occasionally, from @shivnotshank.

April 2021


Writing in the feminine. And on a colored sky. How do you inscribe difference without bursting into a series of euphoric narcissistic accounts of yourself and your kind? Without indulging in a marketable romanticism or a naive whining about your condition? In other words, how do you forget without annihilating? Between the twin chasms of navel-gazing and navel-erasing, the ground is narrow and slippery. 
- Trinh Minh-ha, Woman, Native, Other

My research explores how individuals and social subjects come into being, focusing on the conditions under which they flourish or on the other hand. I’m interested in bringing together the structural and psychological aspects of false consciousness, thinking about coloniality in critical theoretical encounters, and understanding the ways race and gender get reinscribed in and through certain forms of social organization.