History Department
History Department

Sumit Guha delivered Distinguished Visitor Lectures in India

Fri, March 16, 2018
Sumit Guha delivered Distinguished Visitor Lectures in India
Prof. Sumit Guha

Last November, Professor Sumit Guha traveled to India to deliver a series of lectures. Under the rubric of “Historical Sociology: Approaches to Indian History,” Professor Guha spoke on comparative social history in a series of lectures. The lectures took place at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) under a special program created by the Government of India. Designed to bring distinguished academics from outside the country to lecture at Indian universities, the program was inaugurated by Professor Nitin Karmalkar, the Vice-Chancellor (President) of SPPU.

GuhaThere were 35 registered participants who came from the Indian states of Maharashtra, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. They ranged from professors at universities in other states to MA students at SPPU itself. Professor Guha enjoyed giving the lectures. He noted that “this was a rewarding experience for me. The students were enthusiastic and attentive. English, Hindi and Marathi were all used and Dr. Shraddha Kumbhojkar, principal organizer of the program gave fluent and cogent extempore translations of my English lectures.”

guha1In addition to teaching, Professor Guha has been completing a new book, titled "The Social Frame of Historical Memory," which is being revised for the University of Washington Press.

This summer he begins a new project, which has been awarded a research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for 2018-2019. The project, titled “The Political Ecology of Agrarian Empires in South Asia, c.1500-1900,” will examine the political and environmental history of South Asia from 1500 to 1900. He prepared the project proposal as a faculty fellow of the Institute for Historical Studies in 2015-16 and thanks Seth Garfield and his colleagues there for their valuable input.

Sumit Guha received his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in 1981. His thesis studied agrarian western India from the beginning of British rule (1818) to the eve of independence (1941). It was subsequently published as The Agrarian Economy of the Bombay Deccan 1818-1941 (Oxford University Press, 1985). He taught in St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi from 1981 to 1991. In 1996 he became Professor in the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, and in 1999 published his second major monograph Environment and Ethnicity in India, 1200-1991 (Cambridge University Press, 2006). He joined Brown University as S.P. Das Professor in 2000, and Rutgers University as a Professor II in 2004. He published Health and Population in South Asia from Earliest Times to the Present (Hurst & Co Ltd., 2001) and Beyond Caste: identity and Power in South Asia, Past and Present (Brill) in 2013.

Read more about Professor Guha’s work (academia.edu) and watch an interview feature with him on his most recent book publication at NOT EVEN PAST.

Story by Shery Chanis, Ph.D. Candidate, UT History Dept.

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