Trained as a historian of South Asia, my current project explores the interactions of food, culture, and politics in India’s nationalist movement and its first several decades of independence. Written from traditional and nontraditional archives in multiple countries, my project seeks to understand the ways in which changing understandings of food and consumption structured India’s politics, society, and national aspirations. In doing so, I trace the lineages of India’s food crisis and suggest moments where alternative configurations were possible.
My teaching and research is centered around the following areas: Citizenship, governance, and statehood; Comparative colonial and global history (Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia); Development, technology, and the politics of expertise; History of economic thought; Food politics, famine, and hunger; and Modern South Asian politics, economy, and culture.
In previous avatars, I have been a researcher and reporter for Time Magazine in New Delhi and Hong Kong and a contributor to multiple other publications, and from 2007 – 2008 was a Yale University Fox International Fellow at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. In 2011, I was a visiting fellow with Hong Kong University’s Centre for Medicine and the Humanities, and from 2011 to 2012, I was a Junior Fellow of the American Institute of Indian Studies and an affiliate researcher at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute.
Beyond several other essays and works of reportage in progress, I am also working to complete my first novel, which stubbornly refuses to be finished.