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Professor Joya Chatterji

Professor Joya Chatterji

Convenor, Consortium for the Global South

Director, Centre of South Asian Studies

Professor of South Asian History

Fellow, Trinity College

Office Phone: 01223 338094


Joya Chatterji read History at Lady Sri Ram College at the University of Delhi before taking a PhD in History at Cambridge.  She taught International History at the London School of Economics for several years, taking up a post at the University of Cambridge in 2007. Professor  Chatterji is a Fellow of Trinity College, the Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Modern Asian Studies.

Research Interests

Modern South Asian history; imperial and world history; partitions and borders; refugees, migration and diaspora; mobility and immobility; citizenship and minority formation in the late 20th century.

At present, Professor Chatterji is writing a monograph on the global history of South Asian citizenship, and a general work on the history of 'the South Asian Twentieth Century'.

Research Supervision

Professor Chatterji has been involved in the supervision of over twenty-five PhD theses on modern South Asian and imperial history, and on the history of South Asian migration and diaspora. Topics she has supervised include the medical and military history of the British Indian empire, decolonisation and state formation in north-eastern Indian frontier regions, post-partition refugees, relief and rehabilitation, the history of twentieth-century Delhi,  constabulary labour, the state in South Asia, violence, Muslim universities and politics in postcolonial India, landed elites in Pakistan and the history of 'tribal' identity in Bangladesh, Hindu nationalism and Salafism in the South Asian diaspora in Britain, British nationality and citizenship.


Professor Chatterji teaches modern South Asian and world history at Cambridge. She lectures on ‘World History since 1914’ and ‘The History of the Indian subcontinent from the late eighteenth century to the present day’ and supervises, in addition, on ‘The Expansion of Europe from 1500 to the First World War’. She convenes the M Phil in South Asian Studies, and teaches a course, together with Dr David Washbrook, on South Asian mobility, circulation, migration and diaspora.

Key Publications


  • The Bengal Diaspora. Rethinking Muslim Migration (with Claire Alexander and Annu Jalais), (London:Routledge), 2016.
  • Routledge Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora (with David Washbrook), (London: Taylor and Francis), 2013.
  •  The Spoils of Partition.  Bengal and India 1947-1967, (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press) 2007. Translated into Bengali as Deshbhager Arjon, Bangla o Bharat, (Dhaka: Moula Brothers),  2016.
  • Bangla bhag holo, ( in Bengali), (Dhaka: University Press), 2004
  • Bengal divided.  Hindu communalism and partition, 1932-1947, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 1995.


  • ‘Secularization and “Constitutive Moments”: insights from Partition Diplomacy in South Asia’, in Humeira Iqtidar and Tanika Sarkar (eds.), Secularization and Tolerance in South Asia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (2018).
  • ‘Decolonisation in South Asia: the long view’, in Martin Thomas and Andrew Thompson (eds), Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire, ( Oxford University Press, 2018)
  • ‘Gandhi, Princes and Subjects. Alternatives to Citizenship at the End of Empire’, in Naren Nanda (ed.), Gandhi’s Moral Politics, (Routledge, 2018.)
  • ‘Rejoinder’ (to the Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies symposium on the on The Bengal Diaspora); Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies, Volume 40, 2018.
  •  ‘On being Stuck in the Bengal Delta: Immobility on the “Age of Migration”’, Modern Asian Studies (Special Issue: ‘New Directions in Social and Economic History’) Vol. 51.2, March  2017. 
  • ‘Secularisation and Partition Emergencies’, Economic and Political Weekly, December 2013.
  • ‘From subject to citizen:  Rethinking the “post-colonial” immigration order’, in J. Chatterji and D. Washbrook (eds) The Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora, (London: Taylor and Francis Press, 2013)
  • 'Dispositions and Destinations. Refugee Agency and "Mobility Capital" in the Bengal Diaspora,' Comparative Studies in Society and History, April 2013.
  • 'South Asian histories of Citizenship, 1946-52', Historical Journal, December, 2012.
  • ‘Migration myths and the mechanics of assimilation.  Two community histories from Bengal’, Studies in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, (2010).
  • ‘“Dispersal” and the failure of rehabilitation. Refugee camp-dwellers and squatters in West Bengal’, Modern Asian Studies, 41, 5, 2007.
  • 'Of graveyards and ghettos.  Muslims in West Bengal, 1947-67’, in Mushirul Hasan and Asim Roy (eds.), Living together separately.  Cultural India in history and politics, (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • 'Rights or charity? Government and refugees: the debate over relief and rehabilitation in West Bengal, 1947-1950', in Suvir Kaul (ed.), Partition of memory, (Delhi: Permanent Black Press, 2001).
  • 'The fashioning of a frontier: the Radcliffe line and Bengal's border landscape, 1947-1952', Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 33, Part I, 1999.
  • 'The Bengali Muslim; a contradiction in terms?', Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Vol. XVI, 2, 1997  (republished in Mushirul Hasan (ed.), Islams, communities and the nation, (Delhi: Manohar Publishers, 1998).

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Tri-Continental Tea Seminar: The Politics of Science and Technology in the Global South

Nov 27, 2017

The Consortium for the Global South invites you to participate in the first of its Tricontinental Tea Seminars. This informal series is intended to connect researchers working in different departments and disciplines within the University departments, to share knowledge, and to explore the potential for future collaborative projects.