Professor Bandyopadhyay joined the School in 1992 as a History lecturer. He became Associate Professor in 2005 and has been Professor of Asian History since 2007. He established the New Zealand India Research Institute in 2013 and has been the Institute’s Director since its establishment.
Professor Bandyopadhyay undertook his PhD in History at the University of Calcutta and has been an academic since 1976. His initial role at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington was his first lecturing position outside of India, and he has held a wide range of leadership roles over the years he has been here, including Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Head of School.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He has also been Chair of the New Zealand Asian Studies Society Inc and served on the executive committee of the South Asian Studies Association of Australia. He is a member of the editorial board for several journals, including as Associate Editor of the New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies. His contribution to the development of Asian and Indian Studies in New Zealand is immense.
Professor Bandyopadhyay has been a Visiting Fellow or Research Fellow at universities worldwide. He has written six books in English and two in Bengali, and edited or co-edited 12 others, as well as having published over 50 book chapters and journal articles. He was awarded the 2014 Rabindra Puraskar, a major Indian literary award, for Decolonisation in South Asia. He has edited two books on the history of Indian migration to New Zealand and Australia, the most recent being Indians and the Antipodes: Networks, Boundaries and Circulation (Oxford University Press, 2018).
His seminal work on Indian history, From Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India (Orient Longman, 2004), has been translated into two languages and reprinted thirteen times, as well as being issued in a revised second edition by Orient BlackSwan in 2015. It is used in universities worldwide as a textbook for undergraduate courses on modern Indian history.
He has also been involved in the field of non-politic-led diplomacy, leading three New Zealand delegations to Indo-NZ meetings in New Delhi and Wellington.
“Professor Sekhar Bandyopadhyay has made a remarkable contribution to the University as an internationally-renowned scholar, an inspiring teacher, an effective academic leader and a generous colleague”, says Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Professor Sarah Leggott.
“I am delighted that he has been honoured by the University in this way and will continue his association with us.”
Professor Bandyopadhyay says, “I am grateful to all my colleagues for this recognition and will continue to contribute to the academic activities of this university to the best of my ability. I am delighted that my relationship with the University will now be a life-long relationship.”
He has just finished a monograph from his Marsden grant funded project on the partition of India and the associated problems of refugee rehabilitation and is currently involved in co-editing two collections of essays and working on a book of literary translation.