Dr Antara Datta

Educational background

BA (Hons). History, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University

BA in Modern History and Politics, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford

A.M. History, Department of History, Harvard University

PhD, Department of History, Harvard University

Personal profile

I completed my PhD in History from Harvard University in 2010. I have a BA in Modern History and Politics from the University of Oxford and a BA in History from the University of Delhi. After my PhD I joined the PIR Department at RHUL as a Teaching Fellow (2010-2011) and then as a Lecturer (2011-2012). I spent the 2012-2013 academic year as a Lecturer in History at the University of Reading. I returned to the PIR Department on a permanent basis in 2013 as a Lecturer. I offer courses on South Asia, on gender and nationalism and on empire and decolonisation.

Research interests

My first book titled 'Refugees and Borders in South Asia: the Great Exodus of 1971' was published by Routledge in 2012 and engages with the aftermath of the process of decolonisation and uses the war of 1971 to examine the creation of 'affective' and 'effective' borders in South Asia, the subjectivity of minorities, as well as changing ideas about citizenship within South Asia that move beyond the familiar paradigms of region and religion. My current research looks at the link between border crossers and the creation of ideas about nationality and citizenship in South Asia. In particular I am interested in the expulsion of the Indian diaspora from Burma and Uganda as well as the presence of European refugees in India after WWII. A separate strand of my research examines the manner in which the Indian state has attempted to open up multiple possibilities of belonging for Non Resident Indians.

The courses I teach at Royal Holloway are influenced by my interest in the making of nations and states in modern South Asia as well as questions of war, violence and displacement in a comparative context.

Teaching

Undergraduate:

  • PR2520: Empire and Decolonisation (course leader)
  • PR3690: The Making of Modern South Asia (course leader)
  • PR 3700: Gender and Nationalism in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (course leader)

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