His areas of specialization are social history, political and cultural theory, and the study of modern public culture. He has conducted research on the historical impact of print in South Asia, and is generally interested in the relationship between “modern” forms of knowledge and the construction of sociopolitical identity, especially as it pertains to democratic practices and institutions.
- BA St. Stephen's College (in History), Delhi, India, 1990.
- MA University of Delhi (in Modern History), Delhi, India, 1992.
- MA University of Pennsylvania (in South Asian Studies), Philadelphia, PA, USA, 1994.
- PhD University of Pennsylvania (in History), Philadelphia, PA, USA, 1998.
Courses at Hampshire College
- The Making of Modern South Asia SS-0110
- Culture and Imperialism SS-0156T
- Returning to Hampshire: Reflective Writing and Project Workshop SS-0292
- Culture and Power in Modern South Asia SS-0269
- Critical Social Theory: Modernity and its Fate SS-0282
- Narratives of the Past SS-0149
Modern social history, South Asian history, theories of nationalism, comparative world history, historical sociology, political economy, colonialism and empire, post-colonial studies, cultural studies, agrarian history, public culture, print culture, critical and social theory, peace studies, social movements.
- Closely associated with the Global Migrations Program (established in 2002), a college-wide initiative funded by the Christian Johnson Foundation to rethink old cold war paradigms of knowledge and citizenship in light of the unprecedented movements of persons across national and cultural borders that characterize our globalizing world. The program seeks to develop new curricular initiatives that are responsive to these transnational, multicultural movements and the conflicts over identity, belonging, and citizenship to which they give rise. I was director of the program last year.
- Co-founded the Hampshire College Center for the Book (in 1998), a collaborative effort to study the production, dissemination, and consumption of texts. Cross-disciplinary in its agenda, the Center conducts faculty seminars, exhibitions, and courses on the art, history, and future of texts. At the most fundamental level, these activities address the nature of textuality, and the future of sociopolitical and cultural structures in an era of digitization and electronic media.
- Associated with Shikshantar: The Peoples Institute for Rethinking Education and Development, based at Udaipur (Rajasthan) in India.
- Have completed an entry on Indira Gandhi for the International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, 2nd Edition, to be published by Macmillan, USA.
- An article entitled "Print and the Emergence of Multiple Publics in Nineteenth Century Punjab" in the forthcoming edited collection Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies after Elizabeth L. Eisenstein to be published by the University of Massachusetts Press, USA.
- Have recently completed an essay on how liberal notions of public/private space shape institutions of civil society in postcolonial nation states. The article shows that in India, "multiple publics" play the role of "counterpublics," and these, in turn, have a profound influence on the nature of citizenship and civil society. It has been published in the journal Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, 26, 1, pp.36-50, published by Duke University Press.
- An article entitled "The City and the Hill" in Ravina Aggarwal ed. Into the High Ranges: The Penguin Book of Mountain Writing (New York and Delhi: Penguin, 2002).
- Have published articles for The Encyclopedia of Modern Asia (Chicago: Scribners, 2002).