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Recalling Democracy | Participants

Itty Abraham, Department of Southeast Asian Studies, National University of Singapore

Itty Abraham is associate Professor in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore. His research interests include postcolonial theory, science and technology studies, and international relations. His most recent book, How India Became Territorial: Foreign Policy, Diaspora, Geopolitics, is just out from Stanford UP.

Juan Cole, Department of History, University of Michigan

Juan R. I. Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. For three decades, he has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. His most recent book is The New Arabs (Simon & Schuster, July 2014) and he also recently authored Engaging the Muslim World (Palgrave Macmillan, March, 2009), Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and many other works. He has written widely about Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and South Asia. He writes a widely read blog on the Middle East, history and religion called Informed Comment.

Sandipto Dasgupta, Newton International Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy

Sandipto Dasgupta is a Newton International Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy, based in King's College London. His research interests include modern and comparative political theory, legal and constitutional theory, postcolonial theory, law and economic development, and property rights. He is working on a book manuscript, provisionally titled Legalizing the Revolution, that reconstructs a distinct theory of constitutionalism through a detailed study of the Indian constitutional experience.

Rohit De, Centre for History and Economics, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge

Rohit De is an assistant Professor of History at Yale University. Trained both as a lawyer and as a historian of modern South Asia, he is interested in the ways through which law and legal institutions affect the everyday life of people. His current research explores how the Indian constitution, despite its elite authorship and alien antecedents, came to permeate everyday life and imagination in India during its transition from colonial state to postcolonial republic. He is completing a book manuscript tentatively entitled, Litigious Citizens, Constitutional Law and Everyday Life in the Indian Republic (1947-1964).

Manali Desai, Lecturer in Sociology, University of Cambridge

Manali Desai is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Cambridge. Her work encompasses the areas of state formation, political parties, social movements, ethnic violence, and post-colonial studies. Her book State Formation and Radical Democracy in India, 1860-1990 (2006) is a historical analysis of the emergence of two different welfare regimes in India where social democratic parties have ruled consistently since independence. She is also co-editor of States of Trauma: Gender and Violence in South Asia (2009), and Building Blocs: How Parties Organize Society (forthcoming). Her more recent research, funded by the British Academy, focuses on the history of urban communal violence in India.

Manan Desai, American Culture, University of Michigan

Manan Desai is an assistant Professor in American Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is currently working on a book manuscript titled The United States of India, which traces the exchanges between Indian and American intellectuals, including figures like Lajpat Rai, Agnes Smedley, M.N. Wankhade, and W.E.B. Du Bois. He has served on the board of directors for the South Asian American Digital Archive since 2010, where he has helped build collections pertaining to the South Asian diaspora.

Satish Deshpande, Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi

Satish Deshpande is a professor in the Department of Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics at the University of Delhi. His publications include the coedited volume Anthropology in the East: Founders of Indian Sociology and Anthropology (2007) and the co-authored reports Social Science Teaching in Hindi: An Inventory and Analysis of Popular Textbooks at Six North Indian Universities (2010) and Dalits in the Muslim and Christian Communities: A Status Report on Current Social Scientific Knowledge (2008). He is currently working on a research project, supported by the Indian Council for Social Science Research and the University of Delhi, on the factors that help or hinder students in the transition from high school to higher education.

Geoff Eley, Department of History, University of Michigan

Geoff Eley is the Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is a scholar with broad research interests including German and British history, the European Left, nations and nationalism, citizenship, social theory, and the relationship of social history and cultural studies. He has written widely on questions of contemporary historiography. He is the author most recently of After the Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe (University of Michigan Press, 2009) and A Crooked Line: From Cultural History to the History of Society (University of Michigan Press, 2005). His Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe, 1850-2000 (Oxford University Press) was published in 2002. He is currently working on a general history of  Europe in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge University Press).

David Gilmartin, Department of History, North Carolina State University

David Gilmartin is a professor in the Department of History at North Carolina State University. His publications include Empire and Islam: Punjab and the Making of Pakistan (1988). His research focuses on the history the evolution of election law in colonial and postcolonial India. His recent publications include “Rule of Law, Rule of Life: Caste, Democracy and the Courts in India,” American Historical Review (2010).

William Glover, Department of History and Architecture Program, University of Michigan

William Glover is an associate professor in the Department of History and the in A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research interests include South Asian colonial and post-colonial urban and cultural history, social theory, and the material culture of built environments. He is the author of Making Lahore Modern: Constructing and Imagining a Colonial City (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) and of several articles exploring the imbrication of built environments, knowledge cultures, and urban processes in colonial South Asia. His current research is directed towards understanding the aesthetics of modernization in mid-twentieth-century South Asia.

Manu Goswami, Department of History, New York University

Manu Goswami is an associate Professor in the Department of History at New York University. Her research and teaching center on nationalism and internationalism, political economy and the history of economic thought, social theory and historical methods. Her book, Producing India: From Colonial Economy to National Space was published in 2004 by the University of Chicago. She is currently working on an intellectual and political history of colonial internationalisms during the interwar decades.

Matthew Hull, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan

Matthew Hull is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the nexus of representation, technology, and institutions.  His book, Government of Paper: The Materiality of Bureaucracy in Urban Pakistan (University of California Press, May 2012), examines governance as a semiotic and material practice through an account of the role of writing and written artifacts in the operations of city government in Islamabad. He has also worked on the deployment of American technologies of democracy in urban India from the late 1950s and early 1960s. He is currently working on the history and theory of the modern corporation and lotteries in India.

Mary John, Centre for Women’s Development Studies

Mary E. John is Senior Fellow and Professor at the Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi. She has been working in the fields of women’s studies and feminist politics for many years. She was Director of CWDS from 2006-2012, and before that was Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Women’s Studies Programme at JNU, New Delhi from 2001-2006. Her publications include the co-authored Planning Families, Planning Gender: Addressing the Adverse Sex Ratio in selected districts of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab (2008) and the single authored Discrepant Dislocations: Feminism, Theory and Post-colonial Histories (1996). She has edited Women’s Studies in India: A Reader (2008) and co-edited A Question of Silence? The Sexual Economies of Modern India (2000).

Ritu Gairola Khanduri, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Arlington

Ritu Gairola Khanduri is an assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a cultural anthropologist and historian with a research focus on globalization processes in the contexts of India and the Indian Diaspora in the U.S. Her research and writing also track cultural politics in relation to social media, comic books, Hindu images, material culture, emotion and Gandhi. Her book Caricaturing Culture in India: Cartoons and History in the Modern World is forthcoming from Cambridge UP in 2014. She is currently engaged in a project on women in science.

Vikramaditya S. Khanna, University of Michigan Law School

Vikramaditya S. Khanna is the William Cook Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. His interest areas include corporate and securities law, corporate crime, law in India, corporate governance in emerging markets, and law and economics. He is the founding and current editor of both the India Law Abstracts and the White Collar Crime Abstracts on the Social Science Research Network. His papers have been published in the Harvard Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the Supreme Court Economic Review, the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, and the Georgetown Law Journal. His most recent publications include the co-authored The Anatomy of Legal Recruitment in India: Tracing the Tracks of Globalization. Working Paper, 2013 and The Rise of the Corporate Counsel in India. Working Paper, 2012.

Sankaran Krishna, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Sankaran Krishna is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His work so far has centered on nationalism, ethnic identity and conflict, identity politics, and postcolonial studies, located primarily around India and Sri Lanka. He is the author of Postcolonial Insecurities: India, Sri Lanka, and the Question of Nationhood (University of Minnesota Press, 1999) and Globalization and Postcolonialsm: hegemony and resistance in the 21st century (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009). He is currently working on some essays dealing with the culture of Indian foreign policy making, the silent presence of race in discourses of international relations, diasporic forms of Indian nationalism, and other eclectic topics.

Michael Levien, Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University

Michael Levien is an assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. His research and teaching interests fall in the fields of development sociology, political sociology, agrarian political economy, and sociological theory. His dissertation, which he is now turning into a book, seeks to understand the changing nature and increasing economic and political significance of land dispossession in post-liberalization India, and is based in part on an ethnography of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and the villages dispossessed for it in the state of Rajasthan. His publications include “The Politics of Dispossession: Theorizing India’s ‘Land Wars,’” Politics and Society (2013) and “Regimes of Dispossession: From Steel Towns to Special Economic Zones,” Development and Change (2013).

Ramaswami Mahalingam, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan

Ramaswami Mahalingam is an associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on the cultural psychology of caste, immigration and gender. He examines the relationship between power, representation of social groups and psychological well-being. He has co-edited Multicultural Curriculum: New Directions for Social Theory, Practice, and Policy (2000) and Cultural Psychology of Immigrants (2006).

Nivedita Menon, Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Nivedita Menon is a professor in the Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She writes with a feminist perspective on political theory and Indian politics and has published widely in both Indian and international academic journals. Her recent books are Seeing Like a Feminist (2012), the edited volume Sexualities (2007), Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics Beyond the Law (2004) and the co-authored, Power and Contestation: India Since 1989 (2007).

Farina Mir, Department of History, University of Michigan

Farina Mir is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the Director of the Center for South Asian Studies at the University. She is a historian of colonial and postcolonial South Asia, with a particular interest in the social, cultural, and religious history of late-colonial north India. Her first book, The Social Space of Language: Vernacular Culture in British Colonial Punjab (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010) is a study of the Punjabi language and its literature under colonialism. She is currently working on two projects. The first, tentatively titled "Producing Modern Muslims: Everyday Ethics in Late Colonial North India," is a study of Muslim socio-religious reform in late-colonial India, focusing on the role of popular ethics in constituting modern Muslim subjectivity and history. The second is "A History of Islam in South Asia," a synthetic history that covers the period from the rise of Islam to contemporary times.

Eleanor Newbigin, Department of History, SOAS, University of London

Eleanor Newbigin is a lecturer in the Department of History at the School of Oriental and African Studies South Asia Institute at the University of London. She is interested in ideas and practices of citizenship in India, especially during the subcontinent’s transition to independence, including its partition. Her current research focuses on family law and social reform in the first half of the twentieth century and explores the way in which religious identity and gender relations informed debates about citizenship rights, democracy and secularism. She is the author of The Hindu Family and the Emergence of Modern India: Law, Citizenship and Community (Cambridge, 2013).

Aditya Nigam, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies

Aditya Nigam is a professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi. He works in the broad field of social and political theory. His work is concerned with the constitution of political subjectivities, and on a larger canvas on the multiple formations of ‘the political’. He is the author of The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular Nationalism in India (2006), After Utopia: Modernity and Socialism and the Postcolony (2010), and Desire Named Development (2011) and co-author of Power and Contestation: India Since 1989 (2007). He is currently working on a longer-term study of ‘capital’ from a post-Marxist perspective that attempts to interrogate its received history.

Aswin Punathambekar, Communications Studies, University of Michigan

Aswin Punathambekar is an associate professor at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research and teaching revolve around globalization, media industries and production cultures, media convergence, media history, and public culture with a focus on South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. He is the author of From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry (NYU Press, 2013), and co-editor of Global Bollywood (NYU Press, 2008) and Television At Large in South Asia (Routledge, 2013). His current book, provisionally titled “Mobile Publics: Cultural Politics of Participation in Digital India,” examines how convergence between television and mobile media technologies (the Internet and the mobile phone) is reconfiguring the meanings and performance of citizenship.

Priti Ramamurthy, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, University of Washington, Seattle

Priti Ramamurthy is Professor and Chair of the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research interests are in the fields of gender and international economic development, agricultural biotechnologies, agrarian transitions, consumption and commodity cultures, and transnational feminisms. She is the co-author and co-editor of The Modern Girl Around the World: Consumption, Modernity, and Globalization (2008). She has published widely in World Development, Cultural Anthropology, Gender and History, Feminist Studies and SIGNS.  Her recent publications include “Feminist Commodity Chain Analysis: A Framework to Conceptualize Value and Interpret Perplexity,” in Gendered Commodity Chains: Seeing Women’s Work and Households in Global Production, edited by Wilma Dunaway. Stanford:  Stanford University Press, 2014; “Marriage, Labor Circulation and Smallholder Capitalism in Andhra Pradesh, India” in Marrying in South Asia: Shifting concepts, Changing Practices in a Globalising World, eds. Ravinder Kaur & Rajni Palriwala. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2014; and  "Rearticulating caste: the global cottonseed commodity chain and the paradox of smallholder capitalism in south India." Environment and Planning A (2011).

Kalyani Ramnath, Department of History, Princeton University

Kalyani Ramnath is a graduate from the National Law School of India, Bangalore and is currently a Ph.D student in the Department of History at Princeton University. Her publications include the “The Colonial Difference between Law and Fact: Notes on the Criminal Jury in India,” in the Indian Economic & Social History Review (July 2013) and “We the People: Seamless Webs and Social Revolutions in India’s Constituent Assembly Debates” in South Asia Research (February 2012).

Anupama Roy, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Anupama Roy is a professor at the Centre for Political Studies, School of Social Sciences, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her research interests straddle legal studies, political anthropology of public institutions and women’s studies. Her books include Gendered Citizenship: Historical and Conceptual Explorations (2005) and Mapping Citizenship in India (2010). She is currently working on a book manuscript on the Election Commission of India.

Srirupa Roy, Centre for Modern Indian Studies, University of Göttingen

Srirupa Roy is Professor and Chair of State and Democracy, and Director of the Centre for Modern Indian Studies at the University of Göttingen in Germany. Her research interests include nationalism and the politics of identity; comparative-historical dynamics of state formation and transformation; media and politics; capitalist development and democratic change. She is the author of Beyond Belief: India and the Politics of Postcolonial Nationalism (Duke University Press, 2007), and co-editor of Violence and Democracy in India (Seagull/Berg, 2006) and Visualizing Secularism: Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, India (University of Michigan Press, 2012). 

Mrinalini Sinha, Department of History, University of Michigan

Mrinalini Sinha is the Alice Freeman Palmer Professor in the Department of History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has written on various aspects of the political history of colonial India, with a focus on anti-colonialism, gender, and transnational approaches. She is the author of Colonial Masculinity: The ‘manly Englishman’ and the ‘effeminate Bengali’ in the late nineteenth century (1995) and of Specters of Mother India: The Global Restructuring of an Empire (2006). She is currently working on a new book project with the working title, “Complete Political Independence: The Curious History of a Nationalist Indian Demand.”

Julie Stephens, Center for History and Economics, Harvard University

Julie Stephens is an assistant Professor in the Department of History at Yale University. Her research focuses on how law shaped religion, family, and economy in colonial South Asia and in the wider Indian diaspora. Her publications include "The Phantom Wahhabi: Liberalism and the Muslim Fanatic in Mid-Victorian India," Modern Asian Studies (January 2013) and “The Politics of Muslim Rage: Secular Law and Religious Sentiment in Late Colonial India,” History Workshop Journal (Spring 2014). She is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled Governing Islam: Law and Religion in Colonial India.