Neilesh Bose

Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair

Department of History

University of Victoria

Works in Progress

Religion before Gandhi: Meanings and Ends of Religion in Nineteenth Century India, book project.

Lands of Liberty, Countries of License: The Life and Times of Taraknath Das, 1884 – 1958, book project


2022. India after World History: Literature, Comparison, and Approaches to Globalization. Leiden: Leiden University Press. Indian edition. Delhi: Manohar, 2023. New Books Network Interview by Gargi Bijnu, 29 September 2022

2020. South Asian Migrations in Global History: Labor, Law, and Wayward Lives. London: Bloomsbury.
Reviews: H-Soz-Kult, by Shompa Lahiri, posted 30 April 2021, South Asian Diaspora, by Rumya Putcha, posted 13 October 2022, South Asian History and Culture, by Supurna Banerjee, posted 3 July 2023, South Asian Review, by Pallavi Raghavan, posted 14 July 2023, Indian Economic and Social History Review, by Uditi Sen, posted 22 November 2023,

2015. Culture and Power in South Asian Islam: Defying the Perpetual Exception. London: Routledge.

2014. Recasting the Region: Language, Culture, and Islam in Colonial Bengal. Delhi and New York: Oxford University Press.

2009. Beyond Bollywood and Broadway: Plays from the South Asian Diaspora. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

2009. Of Human Rights/Maanusher Adhikare. Kolkata: Seagull Books.

Special Sections Edited

2023. “Roundtable on Religion as Polity Formation: Revisiting Modern Religion in Imperial IndiaJournal of the American Academy of Religion, posted in ‘Advance Articles,’ 11 November 2023

2021. “South Asian Migrations in Modern Global HistoriesJournal of World History 32, 1 (March): 1 – 63.

2018. (with Kris Manjapra and Iftekhar Iqbal) “Oral Histories of Decolonization: Bengali Intellectuals, Memory, and the ArchiveSouth Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 41, 4 (December): 827-913.

2017. “Forum: On A. Azfar Moin’s Millennial SovereignHistory and Theory 56, 1 (March): 54-97.

2016. (with Jamil Khoury and Fawzia Afzal-Khan) “The Dramaturgy of Political Violence: Performance, Representation, and Muslims in the Contemporary World” Performing Islam 5 (1&2): 3-179.

2014. “Defying the Perpetual Exception: Culture and Power in South Asian IslamSouth Asian History and Culture 5 (2): 141 -265.

Journal Articles

2023. “Introduction: Roundtable on Religion as Polity Formation: Revisiting Modern Religion in Imperial IndiaJournal of the American Academy of Religion, posted 11 November 2023

2021. “The History of Afghanistan as Global History” Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 41, no. 2 (August): 237 – 243.

2021. “Gandhi Beyond Gandhi: The Space of Translation in History” Socio-Legal Review Forum Posted 25 June.

2021. “India and Africa in Parallax: In Conversation with Renu Modi, Shobana Shankar, and Meera Venkatachalam” Borderlines conversation posted 15 June.

2021. “Introduction: South Asian Migrations in Global HistoriesJournal of World History 32, 1 (March): 1 – 17.

2020. (co-authored with Victor V. Ramraj) Lex Mercatoria, Legal Pluralism, and the Modern State through the Lens of the East India Company, 1600–1757” Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 40, 2: 277 – 290.

2020. “Taraknath Das (1884 – 1958), British Columbia, and the Anti-Colonial Borderlands” BC Studies (204): 67 – 88.*Runner-Up, 2020 BC Studies Prize

2018. “Inheritance and the Idea of the “East” in Banglaphone Thought in the Era of Decolonisation” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 41, 4 (December): 863-875.

2016. (with Jamil Khoury and Fawzia Afzal-Khan) “The Dramaturgy of Political Violence” Performing Islam 5 (1&2): 7-63.

2015. “Performing History, Constructing ‘Culture’: Ronnie Govender’s 1949 and the Romanticism of Historical Memory,” African Studies 74 (2): 235-246.

2014. “Periodization and the Twentieth Century: Grappling with Pre-Histories of Bangladesh” Südasien-Chronik 4: 35-48.

2014. “New Settler Histories at the Edges of Empire: “Asiatics,” Settlers, and Law in Colonial South Africa,” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 15 (1):

2014.  “Remapping Muslim Literary Culture: Folklore, Bulbul, and World-Making in Late Colonial India,” South Asian History and Culture 5, 2 (April): 212-225.

2014. “Purba Pakistan Zindabad: Bengali Visions of Pakistan, 1940-1947,” Modern Asian Studies 48, 1 (January): 1-36.

2011. “Muslim Modernism and Trans-Regional Consciousness in Bengal, 1911-1925: The Wide World of Samyabadi, 1911- 1925” South Asia Research 31, 3 (November): 231-248.

2009.  “Sharuk and Shylock: South Asian American Shakespeare” South Asian Popular Culture 7, 3 (October): 195-209.

Book Chapters

2024. “Vernaculars across Texts: Modern Islam and Modern Literature in Bengal” in Language Ideologies and the Vernacular in Colonial and Postcolonial South Asia, edited by Nishat Zaidi and Hans Harder, forthcoming. Delhi: Routledge India.

2022. “Taraknath Das: Race and Citizenship between India and the U.S.A,” in The United States and South Asia from the Age of Empire to Decolonization, edited by Nico Slate and Harald Fischer-Tine, 141 – 162. Leiden: Leiden University Press.

2017. “East Bengal in South Asian history: Islam, Bengali, and Shifting Centers of Power,” in Readings in Bengal history: Identity Formation and Colonial Legacy, edited by Asha Islam Nayeem and Aksadul Alam, 111—118. Dhaka: Bangladesh History Association.

2017. “Religion between Region and Nation: Rezaul Karim, Bengal, and Muslim Politics at the End of Empire,” in Muslims Against the Muslim League: Critiques of the Idea of Pakistan, edited by Meghan Robb and Ali Osman Qasmi, 338 – 349. Delhi and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2009. “Of Human Rights and Playwriting against Empire” in Portrayals of Americans on the World Stage: Critical Essays, edited by Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr., 119-133. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.

Reviews, Review Essays, and Interviews

2023. An Empire of Touch: Women’s Political Labor and the Fabrication of East Bengal by Poulomi Saha, Columbia University Press, Syndicate Network Forum,  “Amar Sonar Bangla: A Light Touch” posted 17 August.

2023. Union Zindabad! South Asian Canadian Labour History in British Columbia by Donna Sacuta, Bailey Garden, and Anushay Malik, University of Fraser Valley South Asian Studies Institute, BC Studies (216): 151-52.

2022. Empire of Convicts: Indian Penal Labor in Colonial Southeast Asia by Anand Yang, University of California Press, Journal of World History 33, no. 4 (December): 703-706.

2022. Between Dreams and Ghosts: Indian Migration and Middle Eastern Oil by Andrea Wright, Stanford University Press, interview for Maidaanam: Culture, History, and Politics from the Deccan and Southern India, 24 August 2022

2021. “Delimiting the Nation: The Politics of Theatrical and Electoral Representation in Late Colonial India” Journal of Asian Studies 80, 3 (August): 759 – 761, a review essay of Political Representation in India: Ideas and Contestations, 1908–1951 by Abhay V. Datar (Bloomsbury, 2019) and Performing Nationhood: The Emotional Roots of Swadeshi Nationhood in Bengal, 1905–12 by Mimasha Pandit. (Oxford, 2019).

2021. History and Collective Memory in South Asia, 1200 – 2000 by Sumit Guha, University of Washington Press, South Asian History and Culture, DOI: 10.1080/19472498.2021.1922031

2021 Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism by Dinyar Patel, Harvard University Press, H-Soz-Kult, posted 29 April 2021.

2020. South Asia Archive, South Asian Review DOI: 10.1080/02759527.2020.1821326

2020. A Local History of Global Capital: Jute and Peasant Life in the Bengal Delta by Tariq Omar Ali, Princeton University Press, Asian Studies Review 44, 2: 360 – 362.

2020. Nation and Region in Grierson’s linguistic survey of India and Colonialism and knowledge in Grierson’s linguistic survey of India by Javed Majeed, Routledge, Global Intellectual History, DOI: 10.1080/23801883.2020.1714134.

2018. “Decolonization and South Asian Studies: Pakistan, “Failure,” and the Promise of Area StudiesSouth Asian Review (special edition, “Future(s) of South Asian Studies) 39, 1 (2018): 43-50.

2018. Politicizing Creative Economy: Activism and a Hunger called Theatre by Dia Da Costa, University of Illinois Press, Contributions to Indian Sociology 52, 1 (2018): 111 – 113.

2017. Revisiting India’s Partition: New Essays on Memory, Culture, and Politics edited by Amritjit Singh, Nalini Iyer, and Rahul K. Gairola, Lexington Books, Canadian Journal of History 52, 3 (December 2017): 582-584.

2017.The Rays Before Satyajit: Creativity and Modernity in Colonial India by Chandak Sengoopta, Oxford University Press, American Historical Review 122, 5 (December 2017): 1585-1586.

2017. “India in a World: Dilemmas of Sovereignty” History and Theory 56, 1 (March 2017): 54-60, a review essay of A. Azfar Moin, The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam (Columbia, 2012).

2015.The Limits of Tolerance: Indian Secularism and the Politics of Religious Freedom by Cassie Adcock, Oxford University Press, Itinerario 39, 1 (April 2015): 172-75.

2015. Revolutionary Pamphlets, Propaganda, and Political Culture in Colonial Bengal by Shukla Sanyal, Cambridge University Press, American Historical Review 120, 5 (December 2015): 1866-67.

2015. Islanded: Britain, Sri Lanka, and the Bounds of an Indian Ocean Colony by Sujit Sivasundaram, University of Chicago  Press, Journal of World History, 26, 1 (March 2015): 222-225.

2015. “The Cannibalized Career of Liberalism in Colonial India” Modern Intellectual History 12, 2 (April 2015): 475-484, a review  essay of C.A. Bayly, Recovering Liberties: Indian Thought in the Age of Liberalism and Empire (Cambridge, 2012).

2014. “Hiding the Nation in the Global: Modern Intellectual History and South Asia” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 15, 2 (2014), a review essay of Andrew Sartori and Samuel Moyn, eds., Global Intellectual History (Columbia, 2013), Bhavani Raman, Document raj: Writing and scribes in early colonial South India (Chicago, 2012), Robert Yelle, The Language of Disenchantment: Protestant literalism and colonial discourse in British India (Oxford, 2012), Righteous Republic: The political foundations of modern India (Harvard, 2012), Niraja Jayal, Citizenship and its Discontents: An Indian history (Harvard, 2012), and Pankaj Mishra, From the Ruins of Empire: The intellectuals who remade Asia (Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2012).

2012.The Black Hole of Empire: History of a Global Practice of Power by Partha Chatterjee, Princeton University Press, published in Reviews in History,, 23 August.

2012.The Social Space of Language:  Vernacular Culture in British Colonial Punjab by Farina Mir, University of California Press, Social History 37, 2: 206-208.

2011. Modern Indian Theatre: A Reader edited by Nandi Bhatia, Oxford University Press, Asian Theatre Journal 28, 2: 592-595.

2010. Language, Emotion, and Politics in South India: The Making of a Mother Tongue by Lisa Mitchell, Indiana University Press, South Asia Research 30, 2: 207-209.

2010.The Many Lives of a Rajput Queen: Heroic Pasts in India, c. 1500-1900 by Ramya Sreenivasan, University of Washington  Press, Itinerario 34, 1: 139-141.

Encyclopedia Articles

2022. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History, “Muslim Literary Culture in Late Colonial India,” New York: Oxford University Press.

2019. Brill Encyclopedia of Islam Online, Third Edition (EI3), “Bengal,” Leiden: Brill.

2018. America’s Changing Neighborhoods: An Exploration of Diversity through Places, “Cambodia Town, Long Beach, CA,” “Cambodia Town Lowell, MA,” “Little India, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY,” “Little India, Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ,” “Little India/Pakistan, Artesia, CA,” “Little India, Devon Avenue, Chicago, IL,” “Little India, Chatham Street, Cary, NC,” “Little India, Hillcroft, Houston, TX,” “Silicon Valley, Indian and South Asian Communities, Santa Clara Valley, San Jose Region, CA,” “Yuba City, Sikh Enclave, CA,”  Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio Greenwood.