About me


I am a sixth-year graduate student in the History Department at Harvard, specializing in Modern South Asian History. My research explores the dialogues and debates of Indian intellectuals with evangelical Protestant Christianity in the nineteenth century, especially in the Bengal Presidency in India. In my analysis of these debates, I chart the development of a complex relationship of overt repudiation and covert fascination, where Christianity was perceived as a religion and a philosophy, a discursive and dialectical category, a denominator of racial and social difference, and as a repository of Enlightenment ethos and modernity. I investigate the way in which this examination of Christianity represents a philosophical engagement, leading to contestation over the nature of faith's socio-political implications, and of the political responsibility of the colonized subjects.

I was the recipient of the 2013 SSRC-IDRF dissertation research fellowship which enabled me to conduct research at multiple archives in the UK, in India and in Bangladesh. In the current academic year, I was a visiting scholar at the Centre for History and Economics at Magdalene College, Cambridge University from November to July. I returned to Harvard in August 2015.

I taught an undergraduate seminar course, in the Fall Semester 2015 as one of the three History Prize Instructors (HPI) for the Department of History, for the academic year 2015-2016. My course was "History 60u: Religion and Politics, India 1800-2015". I was also Digital Teaching Fellow in the Spring Semester for Prof. Sunil Amrith's course "SAS131: South Asia, A Global History". I supervised the creation of an online exhibition by our students, largely focused on migration in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal world in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the historical consequences of such large movements of people, ideas and information across the globe.

I am the History House Advisor for Leverett House at Harvard, acting as the liaison between the History Department and those Leverett undergraduates who are History concentrators or are considering a potential concentration in History. In this role, I meet with undergraduate students, discuss their plans of study and answer their questions regarding the department and the discipline.

In 2016-2017, I shall finish writing my dissertation, aided by the grant of a GSAS Dissertation Completion Fellowship (DCF) from Harvard University.

Listen to a brief 3 minute exposition of my dissertation's central themes, recorded for the South Asia Institute at Harvard:

https://soundcloud.com/south-asia-institute/three-minute-thesis-mou-bane...

new_cv_-_mou_banerjee.pdf252 KB