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Arnab Dey

Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2012
M.Phil., University of Delhi, 2004

Assistant Professor
Library Tower (LT) 803

Affiliated Fellow
South Asia Program
Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies
Cornell University


Field Specialties: 

Modern South Asia (India), Environmental and Labor Histories, Literature and History, the British Empire


My research looks at the intersections of political economy, law, and the environment in the making (and unmaking) of Assam tea—one of British Empire's most coveted objects of desire. My book manuscript under progress examines the manner in which legal control, ecological indeterminacy, and the exigencies of private capital framed the tumultuous history of this imperial commodity. Beyond this, I am also interested in questions of labor, historical methods, social theory, and the history of political life in colonial and contemporary India.


'Diseased Plantations: Law and the Political Economy of Health in Assam, 1860-1920,' Modern Asian Studies, doi: 10.1017/S0026749X16000536, published October 9, 2017- View PDF 

'Bugs in the Garden: Tea Plantations and Environmental Constraints in Eastern India (Assam), 1840-1910,' Environment and History, 21.4 (2015): 537-65-- View PDF

Invited Review of Behal, Rana P., One Hundred Years of Servitude: Political Economy of Tea Plantations in Colonial Assam. H-Asia, H-Net Reviews. 2015

Invited Review of Michael S. Dodson and Brian A. Hatcher, [eds.] Trans-Colonial Modernities in South Asia (New York: Routledge, 2012) Pacific Affairs, Vol. 86, No. 3, September 2013

Courses Offered


Modern India, 1757-2014
The 'Nation' Question in South Asian History


Empire, Bodies, Power
Gandhi and Violence
Environment and Empire, 1750-1950
Partition Histories: India and Pakistan Since Independence
Democracy and Discontent in India: History and Theory

Graduate Seminar




Carson Fellow, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich, Germany, 2015-16

J-P Mileur Faculty Development Fund Grant, Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, 2015

Dean's Semester Award, Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, spring 2015

Andrew W Mellon Foundation Dissertation Write-Up Fellowship, Division of the Humanities, University of Chicago, 2011-12

The Nicholson Centre for British Studies, University of Chicago Fellowship for research in the British Isles, Summer 2009; 2011

The University of Chicago Century Fellowship and COSAS research grant, September 2005-2010

Last Updated: 12/13/17