South Asia, 2011
British frontier ethnography; Muslim "fanaticism"; Indian princely states; Indian reform movements; colonial political economy; Victorian international law; colonial anxiety and nostalgia
Against "Anomaly": India Reformism and the Limits of Liberal Empire
My past research has dealt with issues of cultural representation, including changing ethnographic portrayals of communities in the Indo-Afghan borderland during the colonial era and the polemical origins of Muslim "fanaticism." My dissertation addresses the efforts of the mid-century Indian reform community to fashion an idiom of integrative trusteeship premised on reducing "anomalies" of colonial rule. Chapters will examine reformers' advocacy of native sovereignty in princely states, the infrastructural development of India and its integration into the global cotton trade, and the creation of a trans-imperial civil society. The dissertation will also address such activism at the structural level of pressure group agitation, thereby comparing India reformism with the abolitionist and free-trade campaigns from which it was partially born.
“Muslim ‘Fanaticism’ as Ambiguous Trope: a Study in Polemical Mutation." In Mountstuart Elphinstone in South Asia: Pioneer of British Colonial Rule, edited by Shah Mahmoud Hanifi. London: Hurst Publishers, Oxford University Press, 2018, 91–116.
"Colonial Ethnography on India's North-West Frontier, 1850–1910," Historical Journal 59, no. 1 (Feb. 2016): 175–96.
—Historians Garner Teaching Prizes
—History Students Awarded 47 Research Grants in 2017–18
—Coorgnizes a two-day conference on South Asian Borderlands