Neilesh Bose

Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair

Department of History

University of Victoria

Neilesh Bose, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair
University of Victoria, Global and Comparative History

I am an historian of modern South Asia with interests in colonial and post-colonial history, cultural history, and intellectual history. My book, entitled Recasting the Region: Language, Culture, and Islam in Colonial Bengal (Oxford, 2014),  examines Bengali Muslim intellectual history from the early twentieth century through the mid-twentieth century through an examination of Bengali Muslim literary figures, religious reformers, politicians, and public intellectuals from the early twentieth century to 1952. Other published work that places South Asian history within global historical frameworks include my edited volumes India after World History: Literature, Comparison, and Approaches to Globalization (Leiden, 2022) and South Asian Migrations in Global History: Labor, Law, and Wayward Lives (Bloomsbury, 2020).

In addition to my research in modern South Asian history I also hold the Tier II Canada Research Chair in global and comparative history at the University of Victoria. As part of this initiative, I have begun the Global South Colloquium, a seminar series on issues confronting the histories, politics, and aesthetics in and of the Global South. I collaborate with a number of institutes at the University of Victoria on topics of decolonization, globalization, post/de-colonial studies, critical indigenous studies, and histories of empire and nation, including the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives, the Centre for Global Studies, and the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society.

Outside of the official archives I hold active interests in literary and cultural criticism, theater, performance studies, and popular cultures. In this area, I have served as a convenor of Barnard College’s Labor of Love: Performance and Politics in the South Asian Diaspora, published Beyond Bollywood and Broadway: Plays from the South Asian Diaspora (Indiana, 2009), the first-ever collection of plays from South Asian diasporic playwrights from the U.S., the U.K., South Africa, and Canada, as well as convened and edited (with Fawzia Afzal-Khan and Jamil Khoury) a round table conversation on Islam and contemporary theater in North America, entitled “The Dramaturgy of Political Violence: Performance, Representation, and Muslims in the Contemporary World,” in the December 2016 edition of Performing Islam. I have also jointly translated the first-ever English edition of Utpal Dutt’s Maanusher Adhikare (The Rights of Man), a 1968 Bengali play about the 1930s Scottsboro trials in Alabama, U.S.A.

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