Kamakshi Pappu Murti

Kamakshi Pappu Murti

Kamakshi Pappu Murti is a retired professor of German Studies and Cultural Studies. She is an author of scholarly monographs and articles, as well as fiction. Her scholarly writing is devoted to multi-cultural issues, as well as gender studies. She has conducted and participated in workshops covering a wide range of topics, from Service Learning to Deliberative Dialogue. 

During almost five decades of teaching, Murti’s focus has consistently been on supporting underrepresented groups in the classroom. At the University of Arizona, she was a member of the institution’s Diversity Action Council, chairing the sub-committee on Education and Outreach. At Middlebury College, where she chaired the German Department, she was chair of a sub-committee on Coalition Building as member of the college’s diversity committee. Although her home department was German, she introduced courses that caught the attention of minority populations. These courses became highly multi-cultural communities, requiring new teaching strategies that would reach all students, supporting each of them individually while at the same time reaching the overall goals of the courses. Her participation in diversity workshops at the college helped her transfer this experience to the German classroom as well by introducing the model of “Deliberative Dialogue” to her advanced courses.

When she retired in 2008, Murti began volunteering as a storyteller to the clients at two centers for adults with disabilities (MVLE). She has since widened the scope of her volunteering by teaching computer skills to the caregivers and other staff members at MVLE, training clients to prepare for job interviews in this time of COVID-19, helping staff with filing, and teaching English as a second language to staff whose second or foreign language is English. She has continued to tell stories to the clients via ZOOM.

Murti’s scholarly writing is devoted to multi-cultural issues, as well as gender studies. Monographs include “Die Reinkarnation des Lesers als Autor: Ein rezeptionsgeschichtlicher Versuch über den Einfluß der altindischen Literatur auf deutsche Schriftsteller” (de Gruyter, 1990) “India: The Seductive and Seduced ‘Other’ of German Orientalism” (Praeger, 2000) and “To Veil or not to Veil: Europe’s Shape-shifting ‘Other’” (Peter Lang, 2012). She has also published several articles in journals, as well as chapters in books.

Murti’s first children’s book LALLI’S WINDOW was published in 2017 by Austin Macauley, and her first murder mystery MURDERS MOST MATRONLY came out in 2017 as an e-book by Juggernaut Books in India. Pegasus publishers in Great Britain recently published MURDERS IN THE IVORY TOWER (October 2021). And Leadstart Publishers in India published her “Bandilanka’s Forgotten Lives” in November 2021. 

Murti is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA), Modern Language Association (MLA), American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE).

Murti is presently working on two projects:

  1. A paper for the journal published by the South Atlantic Modern Language Association entitled “Bengali Harlem Project: the overarching significance of lost histories,” that addresses a group of immigrants from South-Asian in the late 19th century who jumped the British ships that brought them to the US, and traveled to New Orleans, where they married black women and raised families. Their history has been silenced until 2013, when Vivek Bald, a filmmaker and writer, published a book about them entitled “Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America”;
  2. a series about two teens, Yasemin and Nirmala (“Yasemin and Nirmala: A Tale of Two Teens”) who navigate peer pressure, social media, and their own physical disabilities (Yasemin loses an arm in an accident. Nirmala suffers from ALS).