Rajeshwari Dutt, Ph.D., 2012
March 2, 2018
After completing my Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon in 2012, I returned to India and joined the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi as an Assistant Professor of History. Nestled in the Himalayas, IIT Mandi is one of the youngest “IITs”—a group of premier research institutes in India. My research interests are in nineteenth century Yucatán and Belize. My first monograph which emerged from my dissertation work examined the evolving political figure of the Maya headman or cacique in nineteenth century Yucatán, Mexico (Maya Caciques in Early National Yucatán, Norman: Oklahoma University Press, 2017). I am currently finishing another book manuscript tentatively titled: Empire on Edge: Race, Ethnicity and Governance in Northern Belize during the Caste War, 1847-1901 which explores how Empire operates in frontiers and borderlands during times of conflict. Through this book, I am also arguing for a rethinking of Latin American Studies to include the experiences of regions (such as Belize) which do not share the same historical context and trajectory as traditional “Latin” American nations.
At Carnegie Mellon, I was fortunate to work closely with extremely passionate and dedicated faculty members. I can honestly say that without the mentorship of my advisor Paul Eiss I wouldn’t be where I am today. Other faculty at the History Department including Rick Maddox, John Soluri, Roger Rouse and Kate Lynch played pivotal roles in shaping me as an academic. In fact, I still rely on my professors to give me feedback on my current projects and so in a way, I don’t really think that relationship ever ends. Many of my graduate cohort also continue to be important sources of support. Once a Tartan…
My memories of Baker Hall (where, incidentally I met my husband Varun Dutt, too) are still ones I cherish the most. The History department at CMU is a vibrant, eclectic and stimulating space, one I am sure all future graduate students and alums will come to love and treasure as much as I do.