TM 2 Module Members

Module Coordinators

Rana Beha taught history at Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi. He also held teaching assignments at Cornell University, Syracuse University and Oberlin College, USA. Rana also was a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi; at the South Asia Centre at Cambridge University, Re:Work, Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History, Humboldt University, Berlin; Centre for Development Studies, Free University, Berlin. Also India coordinator Labour Module ICAS:MP. Author of One Hundred Years of Servitude: Political Economy of Tea Plantations in Colonial Assam (New Delhi: Tulika Books, 2014). Treasurer of Association of Indian Labour Historians.

Ravi Ahuja is Module Coordinator of CIAS:MP Thematic Module 2: Labour as a Political Category and one of the core initiators of the ICAS:MP research network. He is the head of the research group  ‘Modern Indian History’ at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) of Georg-August-University at Göttingen, where he joined as a founding member in 2009. Ravi Ahuja has worked on various aspects of India’s social history from 18th to 20th century including urban history, the history of infrastructure and the social history of war. His research interests have increasingly moved towards contemporary history. Current research projects examine the social history of South Asian seafarers and the emergence of labour  – centered social policy in mi-twentieth century India. After teaching at the South Asia Institute in Heidelberg and conducting research at the Centre for Modern Oriental Studies in Berlin he was appointed Professor of Modern South Asian History at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. Ravi favours research-oriented modes of teaching. CeMIS’s Modern Indian History research group offers a broad spectrum of courses that reflects the vivid and diverse historiography on South Asian societies.

Aditya Sarkar is a social historian working on the history of modern South Asia, with specific expertise and interest in the social histories of labour and capitalism. Since September 2013he is an Assistant Professor of South Asian History at the University of Warwick. Before he was a Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS), University of Goettingen (2009-2013), and a Teaching Assistant at the Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London (2008). He holds a PhD in History from SOAS, where he wrote a thesis on Regulated Labour, Unruly Workers: The Making of Industrial Relations in Late Nineteenth-Century Bombay). His PhD dealt with the establishment, elaboration and crisis of a regime of industrial relations in late nineteenth-century India, specifically in the context of Bombay’s cotton mills. His current research focusses on two different areas; firstly the social history of bubonic plague in late nineteenth-century Bombay, and secondly the long history of labour movements and the changing place of industrial labour in the politics and discourses of twentieth-century India, with a special focus on post-colonial transformations.

Module Committee Members

Aarda Surendran, is based at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Andreas Eckert is based at Re:Work Berlin and At the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Humboldt University Berlin. 

Anna Sailer  studied History, History and Society of South Asia, and Sociology at the Humboldt University, Berlin. Between 2010 and 2015 she has undertaken her PhD research, based at the Georg August-University Göttingen. In her thesis she worked on the history of the Bengal jute industry in colonial India, and traced the changing organisation of work between the 1870s and the 1930s. Since 2016 she is working as a research fellow and lecturer at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMis) at Göttingen University. Her main research interests include labour & social history; history of political movements; and history of racism. 

Chitra Joshi teaches history at Indraprastha College, University of Delhi. She has been actively engaged in writing and researching the many histories of Indian labour. Her publications include, Lost Worlds: Indian Labour and its Forgotten Histories (New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2003, London: Anthem, 2005) and various book chapters and essays in journals like Indian Economic and Social History Review, International Review of Social History, and Studies in History. Her current research is on the history of roads and labour (late 18th and19th centuries) in the making of colonial modernity and on histories of work in contemporary India using ethnographic and oral sources.

Christoph Scherrer, economist and political scientist, is professor of globalization and politics and Executive Director of the Inter-national Center for Development and Decent Work at the Univer-sity of Kassel and a member of Steering Committee of the Global Labour University. He has received the Excellency in Teaching Award of the State of Hessia and the Excellence in Development Cooperation Award from the DAAD. Recent English language publications include: “Combating Inequality: The Global North and South”, London: Routledge (2015, co-ed. with A. Gallas, H. Herr, and F. Hoffer), “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partner-ship: Implications for Labor”, Hampp Verlag (2014, ed.), and “Financial Cultures and Crisis Dynamics”, Routledge (2014, co-ed. with B. Jessop and B. Young).

Marcel van der Linden is based at the IISH/Dept. of Sociology, Amsterdam Univ.

Nicole Mayer-Ahuja is a German labour sociologist and university professor at the University of Goettingen, and Director of the Sociological Research Institute (SOFI). During the last years, her research has focused on the history of precarious employment in West Germany, with a special emphasis on women cleaners in private companies, private households, and the public sector; on new forms of work organisation and control in the cultural industries; or on Indo-German project work in IT-companies, between transnational corporate strategies and localized scenarios of reproduction. In theoretical terms, she explores historical and transnational perspectives on work and on labour regulation, at the corporate as well as the political level.

Prabhu Mohapatra was appointed appointed as Associate Professor at the Department of History, University of Delhi in February 2002. After his PhD his academic career began with a Fellowship at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (1989-1993), followed by Post Doctoral appointments at Yale University (1993-94), the School of Oriental and African Studies, London (1994) and at the University of Amsterdam (1994-1997). After returning to India he was Visiting Fellow at the V.V Giri National Labor Institute between 1998-2002, where he established the Integrated Labor History Research Programme and set up a fully digital and online Archive of Indian Labor, first of its kind in India. His teachings include courses in Economic History of Modern India, History of Labour and Labouring Poor and Working Classes, National Movement and Strategies of Imperial Control. Other stints as Visiting Professor include the Ecole Normale Superiore (Cachan) in 2008, at the University of Göttingen (2010-11), the L.M Singhvi Senior Fellowship at University of Cambridge (2006), and the Fellowship at the International Research Centre on Work and Lifecycle in Global History Perspective, at Humboldt University Berlin (2011). He has also been involved in the establishment of the Association of Indian Labour Historians(AILH) and actively promoted international academic cooperation around issues of history of labor and Global History.

Samita Sen is professor, and at present Director, at the School of Women’s Studies at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She served as the First Vice Chancellor, Diamond Harbour Women’s University (2013-2015). Her monograph on women’s employment in the jute industry in colonial Bengal was published in 1999 and won the Trevor Reese Prize in Commonwealth History. She is at present working on women’s migration in relation to tea and overseas plantations. Her various research publications include issues such as education, the women’s movement, marriage, domestic violence, domestic workers, women in governance and women’s land rights. Her recent publications are: jointly written Domestic Days (with N. Sengupta, OUP 2016); and an edited volume, Passage to Bondage (Kolkata: Stree 2016). She is a member of a Calcutta-based voluntary women’s association, Sachetana and of the Governing Body of the Mahanirvan Calcutta Research Group.

Willem van Schendel  is base dat the IISH/Dept. of History, Amsterdam Univ.