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Bushra Mahzabeen

Thesis Working Title

“Precarious Territories of Labour”: Work, Gender, and Petrofictions in the Capitalist World-System


Bushra Mahzabeen is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. Her doctoral research is broadly focused on the geopolitical implications of oil as a commodity and the petro-capitalist exploitation of labour. Her project is supervised by Dr Michael NiblettLink opens in a new window.


Guest lecture: "On Photography" Undergraduate module EN122 Modes of Reading in February 2024 at the University of Warwick.

Recently I taught on the undergraduate module EN123 Modern World Literatures (2022-2023). I have previously taught on EN101 Epic into Novel in 2021-2022 at Warwick as a Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant. I am also an Assistant Professor (on study leave) in the Department of English, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Professional Training: Associate Fellowship, HEA. Academic Professional Pathway for Postgraduate Researchers who Teach (APP:PGR) in 2023 from the University of Warwick, UK.


Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, UK and Ireland (ASLE-UKI) 2023-2024

Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, (ACCUTE) 2023-2024

Warwick Environmental Humanities Network


  • "Containers of “Meat, Blood, and Madness”: Exploitative Labor and Disposable Bodies in Lullaby and Still Born." Journal of World-Systems Research Vol. 30, No. 1, 2024.
  • "State oppression and Adivasi Resistance in Mahasweta Devi's Chotti Munda and His Arrow" . Crossings: Journal of English Studies, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, Vol. 12, 2021. opens in a new window

  • “Overcoming the Gleam of Empire and the Excremental State in The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born”. Crossings: Journal of English Studies, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, Vol. 10, 2019.
  • “Perpetuating Subalternity through Caste: A Close Look at Untouchable and The God of Small Things”, The Arts Faculty Journal, University of Dhaka, Vol. 8 & 9. No. 12 & 13, July 2016- June 2018.
  • “Petro-culture as an Oppressor of Women and Nature: An Ecofeminist Reading of Nawal El Saadawi’s Love in the Kingdom of Oil”, Crossings: Journal of English Studies, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, Vol. 9, 2018.


  • 16 May, 2024. "Oil and Fire in Transparent City: Cityscape or a Hellscape?". Petrocultures 2024 Conference, Los Angeles, USA.
  • 1 March, 2024. "After all, since the world began, we've been eating each other". Corrosive Capitalism and Necrotic Consumption in Tender is the Flesh. Cannibal Consumption: Culture, Capitalism, Critique. University College Dublin, Ireland.
  • 24 February, 2024. "Vengeful Deity or the Saviour of Nature?: Supernatural Resistance of Petro-Violence in The Return of the Water Spirit". Divine Disasters: Exploring Distressed Landscapes in Literature and Theology. University of Warwick, UK.
  • 30 August, 2023. "Rampant Capitalism and Violent Modernism of Angolan Oil Extraction Zone in Pepetela’a Narrative". ASLE-UKI Biennial Conference 2023. University of Liverpool, UK.
  • 28 May, 2023. "Blood and Bodies for the 'monstrous economy' in "In the City of Red Dust" funded by Humanities Research Centre, University of Warwick. Congress 2023, Toronto: ACCUTE Conference. York University, Canada.
  • 25 February, 2023. "Feminised Bodies as Sites of Violence and Trauma in “Things We Lost in the Fire". Territorial Bodies: World Culture in Crisis. University of Warwick UK.
  • 12 November, 2022. "Instability of the Offshore and Invisibility of the Oil Work". The Subterranean Anthropocene. The British Society for Literature and Science Winter Symposium.
  • 22 June, 2022. "Petro-sexual Exploitation of Migrant Women’s Labour in The Bamboo Stalk". Women in World (-) Literature Conference. University of Warwick, UK.
  • 27 May, 2022. "The Oil, the Witch, and the Killing: Petro-violence in Fernanda Melchor’s Hurricane Season". 18th Annual Postgraduate Symposium. Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick, UK.
  • 29 - 30 April, 2022. "Fossil Fuels and Energy Transition in the Petro-capitalist World of Oil". Durham Castle Conference: Transitions and New Realities. University of Durham, UK.
  • 30 - 31 October, 2021. “Trauma and the Hidden Fragmentation of Afghanistan in Nadeem Aslam's Fiction”. From Kabuliwala to the Fall of Kabul: Afghanistan in Popular Imagination. University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, Dhaka.
  • 16 - 17, September, 2021. “Eco-terrorism in the Face of Petro-capitalism in Petroplague”. Erasure and the Environment. Loughborough University, UK.
  • 9 - 11, September, 2021. “Petro-capitalism and the Narrative of Survival in Laura Restrepo’s The Dark Bride”. The Hidden in Performance, Visual, and Literary Culture. M4Cities, UK.
  • 22 July, 2021. “Statelessness and Loss of Identity of Migrant Workers in Petrofictions”. Fiction in the Age of Globalization. Tübingen University, Germany.

Academic Qualifications

MA in World Literature, University of Warwick, UK, 2017

MA in English, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

BA (Honours), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh


Bangabandhu Overseas Scholarship for doctoral research (2020-2024)

Commonwealth Scholarship for MA degree at the University of Warwick, 2016-2017

Dean’s Merit Award for Academic Recognition, University of Dhaka