Severance Radio is an on-air book club dissecting Ling Ma’s satirical, dystopian novel Severance. The novel is a moving family story that explores loneliness, corporate monotony, and survival in the midst of a global health crisis.
In this episode, two scholars Tim Gauthier and Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan delve into the Us/Them paradigm that reveals itself throughout the story. How do we decide who is human, and who is not? What are the dangers of Othering in times of crisis?
Tim Gauthier is currently serving as Director of the Multidisciplinary Studies and Social Science Studies programs in the Department of Interdisciplinary, Ethnic, and Gender Studies at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). His research focuses on contemporary fiction and spans post-colonial concerns and artistic reactions to social and personal trauma experiences. He is the author of Narrative Desire and Historical Reparations – a study of A. S. Byatt, Ian McEwan, and Salman Rushdie (Routledge, 2006), and 9/11 Fiction, Empathy and Otherness (Lexington Books, 2015). Additionally, he has published articles on Colson Whitehead’s Zone One and Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. For the last three years he has taught a class entitled “Community and Immunity,” focusing on the discourse of contagion.
Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan is Assistant Professor of English and Vice Chair of the graduate interdisciplinary program in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory at the University of Arizona. She works at the intersections of South Asian Anglophone and Asian/American literatures and cultural production, and is currently completing a manuscript on the diasporic registration of the New India discourse. Srinivasan is also an award-winning journalist and former magazine editor with bylines in over three dozen scholarly and public venues. Her most recent (2018-2019) work can be found in ARIEL, Interventions, Comparative Literature Studies, GLQ, Oxford Research Encyclopedia, The New Yorker, boundary2online, Popula, Zócalo Public Square, Politics/Letters, and Public Books. Writing is forthcoming in journals including Feminist Formations, The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, and Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, as well as the edited volumes The Critic as Amateur, Teaching Anglophone South Asian Women’s Writing, and the Handbook of Anglophone World Literature. Before joining UA, Ragini taught at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a PhD in 2016. She is Co-Chair of the Academic Council of the South Asian American Digital Archive.