Assistant Professor, Department of History
A hidden history connects India and the United States, the world's two largest democracies. From the late nineteenth century through the 1960s, activists worked across borders of race and nation to push both countries toward achieving their democratic principles.
My first book, Colored Cosmopolitanism: The Shared Struggle for Freedom in the United States and India (Harvard University Press, 2012), argues that South Asians and African Americans learned from each other in ways that not only advanced their respective struggles for freedom, but also helped define what freedom could and should mean. I tell the stories of neglected historical figures, like the "Eurasian" scholar Cedric Dover, and of prominent figures such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Swami Vivekananda, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
My research and teaching focus on the transnational history of social movements in the United States, with a particular emphasis on South Asia and on the history of struggles against racism and imperialism worldwide.
I have broad interests in the intersection of literature, philosophy, politics, and history. I am especially drawn to the history of race and caste, diaspora, cosmopolitanism, anti-colonial and post-colonial nationalisms, environmental science and politics, the Second World War, the Cold War, and nonviolent civil disobedience.