Sameer Pandya

Assistant Professor

Office Location

HSSB 5026


Ph.D., Stanford University, Modern Thought and Literature

Creative writing; Asian American literature; cultural studies; postcolonial literature and criticism; sports studies.


Sameer Pandya is a fiction writer and an interdisciplinary literary and cultural studies scholar. In both his fiction and scholarship, Pandya is primarily interested in the question of cultural dislocation and racial identity among South Asian Americans. 

His first book, THE BLIND WRITER: STORIES AND A NOVELLA, longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award, follows the lives of first- and second-generation Indian Americans living in contemporary California. The characters share a similar sensibility: a sense that immigration is a distant memory, yet an experience that continues to shape the decisions they make in subtle and surprising ways as they go about the complicated business of everyday living.

His novel MEMBERS ONLY is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

His scholarly essays have been published in Journal of Asian American Studies, South Asian Popular Culture and Amerasia. Pandya has also published widely in the popular press, with work appearing in The Atlantic, ESPN, Salon, Sports Illustrated, New York Daily News, among other places.



The Blind Writer: Stories and a Novella, University of Hawaii Press, 2015. 
(Published in “Intersections: Asian and Pacific American Transnational Studies,” David K. Yoo and Russell C. Leong, Series Editors.)  

  • Longlisted for the 2016 PEN/Open Book Award
  • 2017 PEN/Civitella Fellowship
  • Korean translation, Namu Bench, 2018
  • Reviews in Asian Review of Books, The Aerogram, Pop Matters, Asian American Literature Fans

“A Housewarming,” Faultline: Journal of Arts and Letters (Spring 2013).

  • Nominated for a Pushcart Prize

“Ajay the Lover,” Ozone Park Journal (Spring 2011).

“M-o-t-h-e-r,” Epiphany Magazine (Fall 2007).

  • “Sameer Pandya Interview + Story,” Epiphany Magazine (June 19, 2017). Reissue of story with author interview.

“Patrick Ewing’s Father,” Narrative Magazine (Fall 2005).

“Welcome Back, Mahesh,” Other Voices 43 (2005). 


“Freaks and Geeks: On the Provisional Citizenship of Indian American Spelling Bee Winners,” Journal of Asian American Studies, Volume 20.2, June 2017.

“On the Cultural Politics of Asian American Sport,” Amerasia Journal, Volume 41.2 (Summer 2015).  Co-Authored and journal issue co-edited with Rachael Joo. 

“Tiger Woods” and “Asian American Golf,” in Asian Americans: An Encyclopedia of Social, Cultural, Economic, and Political History. Xiaojian Zhao and Edward J.W. Park, Editors.

(Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press 2014).

“Situating Vijay Singh in (Asian) America,” South Asian Popular Culture, Volume 13.1 (Fall 2013). 

  • Reprinted in Sport and South Asian Diasporas, Daniel Burdsey, Stanley Thangaraj, and Rajindra Dudrah, Editors.  (New York: Routledge 2014).

Cultural Commentary

“The Picture for Men: Superhero or Slacker,” Pacific Standard (Aug 17, 2010).

  • Reprinted in Methods of Arguments: An Anthology of Readings. Deborah H. Holdstein and Danielle Aquiline, Editors. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).
  • Reprinted in Culture: A Reader for Writers. John Mauk, Editor. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

“The Racial Spectacle of the National Spelling Bee: Our predictable “model minority” story strikes again,” Salon (May 29, 2015).

“The Spelling Bee: America’s Great Racial Freaks-and-Geeks Show,” The (June 11, 2014).

“Murray’s Win Touches National Nerve,” (July 9, 2013).

“Roger Federer’s Cultural Cachet,” (May 30, 2012).

“Jeremy Lin and the Post-Racial Playing Field,” Pacific Standard (Feb 23, 2012). 

“The Jeremy Lin Discussion,” (Feb 12, 2012).

“Finding a New Gandhi in the Book ‘Great Soul,’” Pacific Standard (Aug 2, 2011).

“Atwal’s Victory was Big for the Player—and for His Country,” Sports Illustrated (August 23, 2010)

“The Crisis in Liberal Arts Education,” Pacific Standard (July 29, 2010).

“The Financial Carnage on Campus,” Pacific Standard (Apr 28, 2009).

“Suspense and Sports Television,” Pacific Standard (Apr 16, 2009).

“Federer Too Old at 27?” Pacific Standard (Mar 25, 2009).

“Cut, Paste, Enrich: Art in the Remix Era,” Pacific Standard (Jan 14, 2009)

“The NFL Should be More Like NASCAR,” Pacific Standard (Nov 8, 2008). 

“Singh Song: A Fellow Indian Sees Vijay Through a Difference Lens,” Sports Illustrated (Oct 6, 2008). 

“It Only Gets Darker After the Lights Go Down,” Pacific Standard (Sep 5, 2008)

“Woods and Obama: Being Hybrid is Hard Work,” Pacific Standard (July 25, 2008).