Fall 2022 Office Hours: Thursdays 10 AM -12 noon

The Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 displaced Hindu-Sylhetis from their territorial home in Sylhet, which is today in Bangladesh, then East Pakistan. The circulatory movement of Sylhetis between East Pakistan and India that ensued  for two decades triggered the new postcolonial nation to accommodate rehabilitation of the community within an urbanizing landscape of the regional capital of Shillong. My dissertation explores the ways in which class and caste locations of displaced Sylhetis informed their various technologies of self-making as Hindu political subjects of the Indian nation-state amidst growing anxieties of belonging, dispossession and inter-religious tension. It also utilizes the encounters of these displaced people with ‘state’ enterprises of rehabilitation while they sought to reinvent themselves as citizens as a granular look at the making of the ‘state’ of the new nation and spatial orders of urban Shillong. I use bureaucratic archives of rehabilitation, land relations and urban planning in relation to ethnographic interviews to demystify the notion of the state and register the postcolonial continuum in which novel claims about nationhood are situated.

Advisor: Mary Hancock, Anshu Malhotra

  • Vice President- Advocacy, HGSA 2022-23
  • Lead TA 2022-23 (with Misa Nguyen), History Department
  • History Department Recruitment Fellowship, 2019-20
  • Graduate Fellow of Public Humanities at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Centre
  • History Associates Summer Research Fellowship, 2021
  • History Department Travel and Research Grant, 2022
  • William H. Ellison Prize for Best Seminar Paper, 2022 : “Spatial Orders and the Affective Architecture of a new Nation: Making of the Burrabazar Colony for Displaced Sylhetis in post-Partition Shillong”
  • GSR (Graduate Student Representative) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Committee, History Department 
  • Graduate Intern, IT Community Relations, Department of History, 2021-23