Dr Siddharth Soni is the Isaac Newton Trust Fellow at Cambridge Digital Humanities and an Affiliated Lecturer at the English Faculty.
My research interests are within postcolonial literature, world literature and theory, translation theory, and critical approaches to the histories and technologies of the archive. My PhD, completed at Cambridge, was a study of the short story form in India. It intervened in many critical debates around the politics of form, genre, realism, experimentalism, multilingualism, and the relationship between literature and political movements. I am currently at work on a monograph that builds on it, titled ‘Short Story in India’.
In 2022, I also started work on a project called The Global Short Story, which studies the development and promulgation of the short story as a global literary genre in the twentieth century. The comparative project considers both close and distant reading approaches, and is primarily invested in understanding the role played by print periodical cultures and new media ecologies in the development of the short story form.
In 2023, my concurrent book-project ‘Monstrous Archives’ won the £25,000 Ideas Prize. This book is a technological history of the archive, focusing in particular on the industrialisation of archival processes. The book builds rigorous evidence for the argument that numerical, computational, and data cultures of today have their roots in colonial and military ideologies. It also examines the work of writers, artists, cyberneticists, and scientist-philosophers, including Jorge Borges, Ted Chiang, Amitav Ghosh, Kazuo Ishiguro, Vannevar Bush, Henriette Avram, Joseph Weizenbaum, and Alan Turing.
I have related interests in modernist studies, language philosophies of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Margaret Masterman, and on new critical debates on creativity and humanism. I co-convened the Digital Afterlives research network at Cambridge Digital Humanities, as well as the UK-wide Unbind research collective, the latter attempting to study the discursive implications of longform humanities scholarship and imagining creative alternatives to the academic monograph. I am an elected member of the Cambridge Open Research Steering Committee.