Carnegie Mellon University

Deepa Nair

Deepa Nair

Assistant Teaching Professor, CMU Qatar


Deepa Nair is a historian of Modern South Asia. Her research revolves around politics, religion, education, and identity formation in modern India, particularly the effect of ethno-religious nationalism on minorities and nation-building in secular India. Before joining CMU, she taught at the University of Central Florida and Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Nair's teaching interests include the history and culture of South Asia; imperialism, decolonization, and nationalism in South Asia; politics, religion, and gender in contemporary South Asia; legacies of the British raj– including Partition and rise of ethno-religious nationalism; globalization, migration, and South Asian diaspora; Indian historiography and transnational history. She is working on the first edition of An Anthology of South Asia (Cognella /Routledge) and her monograph on education, state formation, and identity politics in South Asia. In 2021-22, Nair was awarded the Provost's Inclusive Teaching Fellowship. 


Ph.D.: National University of Singapore, 2007


  • Nair, Deepa. An Anthology of South Asia: From Pre-history to the Present. San Diego: Cognella Press/Routledge, ( forthcoming)
  • Nair, Deepa. "Love-Jihad": Hindu Nationalist Paranoia towards Muslims in India." In Global War on Terrorism -Revisited, ed. Mohd Mizan Aslam. Intechopen: London ( forthcoming) 
  • Nair, Deepa. "Hindu Nationalism and the Politics of History Education in India." In South Asia: State, Society and Politics, eds. Ali Asker, Md Nazmul İslam, Büşra Yengeç Ersin, Amir Ahmed Khuhro, 79-105. Ankara: Nobel, 2023.
  • Nair, Deepa. "Hinduism in America: A Convergence of Worlds," Ethnic and Racial Studies, Volume 44 Issue 13, October 2021.
  • Nair Deepa. "The Imagined Other' – A Political Contextual Analysis of Secular and Hindu Nationalisms in Indian History Textbooks," Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society, Vol 13, issue 2, (September 2021):72-94.
  • Nair, Deepa. "The Other Side of Silence: Religion and Conflict in Indian Textbooks." In Controversial History Education in Asian Contexts, eds. Mark Baildon, Kah Seng Loh, Ivy Maria Lim, Junaidah Jaffar & Gul Inanc, 58-74. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • Nair, Deepa. "History, Politics and the State: The South Asian Experience." Journal of North Carolina Association of Historians, Volume 18 (April 2010): 66-83.
  • Nair, Deepa. "Textbook Conflicts in South Asia: Politics of Memory and National Identity." Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society, Volume 2 (September 2010): 29- 45.
  • Nair, Deepa. 'Contending "Historical" Identities in India.' Contexts: The Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society, Volume 1 (March 2009): 145-164.
  • Nair, Deepa. "Communal Stakes in the Indian Past." Outré Terre: Teaching the Nation, French Quarterly Review of Geopolitics, No. 11. (Nov 2005): 343-351.

Courses Taught

  • South Asia - People, Processes, and Culture (Global Histories)
  • Gender in South Asia 
  • Imperialism and Decolonization in South Asia
  • Nations and Nationalisms in South Asia
  • Nation, Culture, and Society in South Asian Cinema
  • Muslim representation in the media and popular culture 
  • Epidemics, Pandemics, and Infectious Disease: From Black Death to COVID-19
  • Social Inequity, Mental Health, and Physical Wellness during COVID-19
  • Life after COVID-19: Imagining our Post-Pandemic Future 

Department Member Since: 2019