Sekhar Bandyopadhyay

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Office hours

By appointment.


  • MA, PhD University of Calcutta
  • Fellow of New Zealand Academy of Humanities
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand

Grants and awards

  • 'Rabindra-smriti Puraskar' [Rabindranath Tagore Prize] (2014) for 'Decolonisation in South Asia'
  • Marsden grant (2011) for the project Dalits in the history of Partition in Eastern India.

Theses completed under supervision

  • Meera Muralidharan, 'Power Without Patronage: Knowledge-making Endeavours of the Dutch East India Company in Malabar, 1663-1795', PhD (2020).
  • Sarah Pinto, 'Shackled Bodies, Unchained Minds: Lunatic Asylums in the Bombay Presidency 1793-1921', PhD (2017).
  • Masum Billah, 'Politics of Land Law: Poverty and Land Legislation in Bangladesh', PhD in Law (2017).
  • Nazima Parveen, 'Ideas of Homeland and Politics of Space: A Study of Muslim Localities of Delhi', PhD (2016)
  • Johnson Kukatlapalli, 'A Study of the Adjustment Experiences of Indian International Students in New Zealand Universities', PhD in Asian Studies (2016).
  • Esha Verma, 'Sindh in Transition: From Mughal Rule to British Annexation, Early Eighteenth Century to 1843', PhD (2016).
  • Ambalika Guha, 'Modernising Childbirth in Colonial Bengal', PhD (2015).
  • Ben Kingsbury, 'An Imperial Disaster: The Bengal Cyclone of 1876', PhD (2015).
  • Sabbaq Ahmed, 'Religious ideology and Muslim militancy in South Asia: selected case studies', PhD (2015).
  • David Weaver, ' The Parsi Dilemma: Perspectives of NZ Parsi Community', MA in Asian Studies (2012).
  • Adam McConnochie, '"The Blessed Land": narratives of Peasant resistance at Nandigram, West Bengal in 2007' MA (2012).
  • Sharmila Bernau, 'Imagining Community in Godzone - Hinduism and Identity Amongst Indians in Wellington: An Oral History Project,' MA (with Charlotte Macdonald) (2006).
  • Yoong Ru Heng, 'Communal Riots in Malaysia: The May 13th (1969) Incident Reconsidered,' MA (2004).

Theses in progress

  • Sneha Pal, 'Hidden in Hides: The Worlds of Calcutta Leather Industry Labour 1905-1996', PhD (commenced in 2019).
  • Sucharita Sen, 'Paradoxes of Hierarchy and Intimacy in Non-Official Interracial Relationships: British India, 1800-1915', PhD (commenced in 2018).

Research areas

  • Social and political history of South Asia during the colonial period
  • Caste system, identity formation, and nationalist politics in India in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries, with special reference to the Bengal region (eastern India)
  • Decolonisation and post-colonial nationhood in India
  • Indian diaspora in New Zealand
  • India–New Zealand relations



  • (Co editor with Jane Buckingham), Indians and the Antipodes: Networks, Boundaries and Circulation, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • (Co-editor with Aloka Parasher-Sen), Religion and Modernity in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • (editor), Decolonization and Politics of Transition in South Asia, New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan, 2016.
  • (co-editor with Sita Venkateswar), Globalization and Challenges of Development in Contemporary India, New Delhi: Springer, 2016.
  • From Plassey to Partition an After: A History of Modern India, Second Edition, New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2015.
  • (co-editor with Tanika Sarkar), Calcutta: The Stormy Decades, New Delhi: Social Science Press, 2015 / Abingdon: Routledge, 2018.
  • (co-editor with X. Huang and A.C. Tan), China, India and The End of Development Models, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
  • (editor), India in New Zealand: Local Identities, Global Relations, Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2010.
  • Decolonization in South Asia: Meanings of Freedom in Post-independence West Bengal, 1947–52, London and New York: Routledge, 2009.
  • (editor), Nationalist Movement in India: A Reader, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Caste, Culture and Hegemony: Social Dominance in Colonial Bengal, New Delhi, Thousand Oaks London: Sage Publications, 2004.
  • (editor), Bengal: Rethinking History. Essays in Historiography, International Centre for Bengal Studies Monograph No. 29, New Delhi: Manohar, 2001.
  • Caste, Protest and Identity in Colonial India: The Namasudras of Bengal 1872–1947, Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 1997, second edition, New Dehli: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • (co-editor with A. Dasgupta& W. van Schendel), Bengal: Communities, Development and States, New Delhi: Manohar, 1994.
  • (co-editor with S. Das), Caste and Communal Politics in South Asia, Calcutta: KP Bagchi, 1993.
  • Caste, Politics and the Raj: Bengal 1872–1937, Calcutta: KP Bagchi, 1990.

Selected articles