Creative Writing: Nationalism, intergenerational trauma, and breaking cycles of violence through individual and civic agency. Mehta's column, The Company We Keep, on the reading and writing life, appears in the Independent, exploring the life of social justice and the contemporary imagination.
Professor Mehta brings a multi disciplinary approach to her teaching. She currently teaches undergraduate seminars in International Literature, and Creative Writing. She is simultaneously the Interim Director of the Alan Cheuse International Writers Center. Her work as an editor and curator features writers from Maine to Mumbai. She likes to bring contemporary fiction writers, poets, and journalists into her classes and celebrate the arts and academic life of George Mason.
Professor Mehta is a prize-winning poet, fiction writer and essayist. She is the author of The Towers of Silence and A Story of the World Before the Fence, about which Tim Seibles, former Poet Laureate of Virginia writes, “is a lush, lyrical study of memory and history.” In 2022 her work has been anthologized in a Red Hen Press anthology of contemporary Indian writers: Future Work, and the Penguin Book of Modern Indian Poets.
Prof. Mehta was trained as an economist, and has a degree from Oxford University in philosophy, politics and economics and a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University. She began her career in non-profit work in Mumbai, and was subsequently a fellow in Human Rights at the UN University in Tokyo. She has spent the last decades working at the World Bank, first in Climate Change in Africa, and then as the primary evaluator for the Bank's progress in meeting gender equality goals. As a senior gender specialist, her international development work has covered many countries, as the World Bank lends across the world. Her regional focus has been on gender in Eastern/Central Europe and Central/South America.
Mehta's parallel work has been in the literary arts, both as a writer of fiction, poetry and essays, and on the boards of literary non profits. She has published two collections of poetry, short fiction, and essays. She is currently working on her novel, Extinction.
Select fiction, non fiction and poetry:
Master of Public Policy, Georgetown University
Fellow in Human Rights, United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan
Master of Arts in Philosophy, Politics & Economics, St. Hilda’s College, Oxford University, Radhakrishnan Scholarship
Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Economics with Math, Minor in English Literature, St. Xavier’s College, Univ. of Mumbai, India