Dipesh Chakrabarty (Fall 2015)

Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty from the University of Chicago will be the 2015 Fall GLASS scholar. 15-16 October 2015.


Dipesh Chakrabarty is currently the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College at the University of Chicago. He is also a faculty fellow of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, an associate faculty of the Department of English, holds a visiting professorial fellowship at the Research School of Humanities at the Australian National University, and an honorary professorial fellowship with the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is a founding member of the editorial collective of Subaltern Studies, a co-editor ofCritical Inquiry, and a founding editor of Postcolonial Studies. He is a contributing editor to Public Culture, and has served on the editorial board of the American Historical Review. He was one of the founding editors (along with Sheldon Pollock from Columbia University and Sanjay Subrahmanyam from UCLA) of the series South Asia Across the Disciplines published by a consortium of three university presses (Chicago, Columbia, and California). He also serves on the Board of Experts for the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.

Chakrabarty’s most recent book, The Calling of History: Sir Jadunath Sarkar and His Empire of Truth, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. He is working on "The Climate of History: Four Theses" in Ecocriticism: The Essential Reader (Routledge) and a book, provisionally entitled, History and the Time of the Present (Duke). His other publications include Rethinking Working-Class History: Bengal 1890-1940 (Princeton: 1989, 2000); Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, 2000; second edition, 2007); Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies (Chicago, 2002); He has also edited (with Shahid Amin)Subaltern Studies IX (Delhi: OUP, 1996), (with Carol Breckenridge, Homi Bhabha, and Sheldon Pollock) Cosmopolitanism (Duke, 2000); (with Rochona Majumdar and Andrew Sartori) From the Colonial to the Postcolonial: India and Pakistan in Transition (Delhi: OUP, 2007), and (with Bain Attwood and Claudio Lomnitz) “The Public Life of History,” a special issue of Public Culture (2008). Provincializing Europe has been translated into Italian, French, Polish, and Spanish and is being brought out in Turkish, Korean, and Chinese. Habitations has been published in Arabic. A collection of two essays translated into Spanish was published in 2009: El humanismo en la era de la globalizacion and La descolonizacion y las politicas culturales (Buenos Aires: Katz Editores, and Barcelona: Centro de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona, 2009). A Dipesh Chakrabarty Reader (in Chinese) was recently published from Shanghai (Nanfang Press, 2010). An assortment of essays was published in German under the title, Europa als Provinz: Perspektiven postkolonialer Geschichtsschreibung (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2010). A collection of essays written originally in Bengali was recently brought out in Calcutta, Itihasher janajibon o anyanyo probondho (The Public Life of History and Other Essays) (in Bengali) (Calcutta: Ananda Publishers, 2011)


Chakrabarty's research is currently focused on two areas: he is working on a book project on the implications of the science of climate change for historical and political thinking (see his essay in Critical Inquiry, Winter 2009, for a beginning) and is working on two long-term projects: one on democracy and political thought in South Asia and the other on a cultural history of Muslim-Bengali nationalism.

Recent Selected Publications


"The Climate of History: Four Theses." In Ecocriticism: The Essential Reader. Edited by in Ken Hiltner. New York: Routledge, forthcoming 2015.

The Calling of History: Sir Jadunath Sarkar and His Empire of Truth, c. 1900–1950. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2014.


"Friendships in the Shadow of Empire: Rabindranath Tagore’s Reception in Chicago, c. 1913–1932." Modern Asian Studies (April 2014): 1–27.

"Europa provicialisieren: Postkolonialitaet und die Kritik der Geshichte." In Jenseits des Eurozentrismus. Edited by Sebastian Conrad, Shalini Randeria, and Regina Roemhild, 134–161. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2013 (reprint).

"The Lost Causes of E. P. Thompson." Labour/Le Travail: Journal of Canadian Labour Studies (Fall 2013): 207-212.

"Die Gewalt und die Zivilisation: Dipesh Chakrabarty im Gespraech." Geo (November 2013): 55–58 (interview with Gabriele Riedle).

"Verspaetung und Modernitaet: Subalterne Historien, wieder mal." InModerne und Religion: Kontroversen um Modernitaet und Saekularisierung. Edited by Ulrich Willems et al., 183–201. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2013 (translation).

"Subaltern Studies in Retrospect and Reminiscence." Economic and Political Weekly (March 23, 2013): 23–27.

(With Rochona Majumdar) "Gandhi’s Gita and Politics as Such." Inolitical Thought in Action: The Bhagavat Gita and Modern India. Edited by Shruti Kapila and Faisal Devji, 6787. Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2013 (reprint).

"Foreword/Calcutta: In Memories and Photographs." In Redeeming Calcutta: A Portrait of India's Imperial Capital. Edited by Steve Raymer. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013.

"Subaltern Studies, Post-Colonial Marxism, and 'Finding Your Place to Begin from': An Interview with Dipesh Chakrabarty. In Dialogues with Contemporary Political Theorists. Edited by Gary Browning, Raia Prokhovnik, and Maria Dimova-Cookson, 58–72. London: Palgrave, 2012.

"Interview: On Climate Change." RdL La Revue des Livres (November-December 2012).

"Le climat de l’Histoire: quatre theses." Entropia: Revue d’étude théorique et politique de la décroissance 12 (2012): 39–49 (French translation).

"The Climate of History: Four Theses." Beifang Luncong (The Northern Forum) 3 (2012): 58-67 (Chinese translation).

"Museums in Late Democracies." In Visual Culture Reader, 3rd ed. Edited by in Nicholas Mirzoeff. New York and London: Routledge, 2012.

"Community, State, and the Body: Epidemics and Popular Culture in Colonial India." In Medical Marginality in South Asia: Situating Subaltern Therapeutics. Edited by David Hardiman and Projit Mukharji, 36–58. London and New York: Routledge, 2012.

"Postcolonial Studies and the Challenge of Climate Change." New Literary History 43, no. 1 (Winter 2012): 1-18.

"From Civilization to Globalization: The West as a Signifier in Indian Modernity." Inter-Asian Cultural Studies 13. no. 1 (2012). French translation published in La Revue des Libres (January 31, 2012).

"Australian Lessons." In India and Australia: Bridging Different Worlds. Edited by Brian Stoddart and Auriol Weigold, 8–15. Delhi: Readworthy, 2011.

"Veraendert der Klimawandel die Geschichtschreibung? ("Does Global Climate Change Change History?" Transit 41 (2011).

"The Birth of Academic Historical Writing in India." In Oxford History of Historical Writing 1900–1950, vol. 4. Edited by Stuart Macintyre et al., 520–536. Oxford University Press, 2011.

"The Muddle of Modernity." American Historical Review 116, no. 3 (June 2011): 663–675.

"Can Political Economy be Postcolonial?" In Postcolonial Economies. edited by Jane Pollard, Cheryl McEwan, and Alex Hughes. London: Zed Books, 2011.

"Romantic Nationalism and Its Ambivalent Legacies." Delhi: National Council of Educational Research and Training, 2011 (Sir Aurobindo Third Memorial Lecture, 2010).

 "Belatedness as Possibility: Subaltern Histories, Once More. In The Indian Postcolonial: A Critical Reader. Edited by Elleke Boehmer and Rosinka Chaudhuri, 163–176. London: Routledge, 2011.

"The Climate of History: Four Theses." Global History (2010): 348-386 (Korean translation).

"A Europe in the World? Twenty Years After 1989." Comprendre: Revue de Politique de la Culture 2 (2010) 189–196. Also published in Europa Regional 4 (2009).

"Historia subalterna como pensamento politico" ("Subaltern Studies as Political Thought"). In A Politica dos Muitos: Povo, Classes e Multidao. Edited by Bruno Dias and Jose Neves, 281–307. Lisbon: Tinta-da-China, 2010. Reprinted in English in Colonialism and Its Legacies. Edited by Jacob Levy and Iris Marion Young, 205–218. New York: Lexington Books, 2011.

"Bourgeois Categories Made Global: Utopian and Actual Lives of Historical Documents in India." In Utopia/Dystopia. Edited by Michael G. Cordin, Hellen Tilley, and Gyan Prakash, 73–93. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010). Also published in Economic and Political Weekly 25 (2009): 69-75

"The Legacies of Bandung: Decolonization and the Politics of Culture." In Making a World After Empire: The Bandung Moment and Its Political Afterlives. Edited by Christopher Lee, 45–68. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010. An earlier version published in Economic and Political Weekly (see below)

(With Rochona Majumdar) "Gandhi’s Gita and Politics as Such." Journal of Modern Intellectual History 7, no. 2 (2010): 335–353.

"Empire, Ethics, and the Calling of History: Knowledge in the Postcolony." In Unsettling History: Archiving and Narrating in Historiography. Edited by Sebastian Jobs and Alf Lüdtke, 63–88. Frankfurt, New York: Campus Verlag, 2010). Another version published in Ethical Life in South Asia. Edited by Anand Pandian and Daud Ali, 116–139. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.

"The Home and the World in Sumit Sarkar's History of Bengal." Essay published as part of a new edition of Sumit Sarkar's book The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal, 1903–1908. Delhi: Permanent Black, 2010.

Last Modified: 21-01-2015