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Tithi Bhattacharya

Tithi Bhattacharya

Associate Professor // History

Director // Global Studies // SIS

Office and Contact

Room: UNIV 309

Office hours:

  • Fall 2021 noon-1:00 Tu/Thu UNIV 309
  • By appointment


Phone: 765-496-2731

Fax: (765) 496-1755


HIST 243 South Asian History and Civilizations
HIST 379 Gandhi: Myth, Reality, and Perspective

Ph.D. University of London, 2000



Feminism, South Asian History, Class Formation and Colonialism, Marxist Theory

Tithi Bhattacharya received her Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) in 2000. Her dissertation on the English-educated middle class of nineteenth-century Calcutta became the basis of her first book, The Sentinels of Culture: Class, Education, and the Colonial Intellectual in Bengal (Oxford, 2005). In this she focused on a very specific aspect of the middle class’s social history: their obsessive preoccupation with culture and education. The book starts from a rooted definition of education and demonstrates how education and culture were frequently aligned to social and economic power. Bhattacharya uses class as an analytic category to argue that the commentaries about education and being educated in colonial Bengal ought to be seen as key arguments in staking out the territory of a new emergent middle class.

Professor Bhattacharya’s work has been published in leading journals such as the Journal of Asian Studies, South Asia Research and New Left Review. Her next book project is titled “Uncanny Histories: Fear, Superstition and Reason in Colonial Bengal”. It is an attempt to write a material history of fear and to show how new historical processes -- rural to urban migration, English education, new funerary practices-- changed the very cultural inflections of fear as a colonial society negotiated its encounter with modernity.

Professor Bhattacharya teaches courses in South Asian history, Colonialism, Critical Theory, and Histories of the dead and the undead.

Despite her use of Marxism as a theoretical tool, and her commitment to complete human liberation, at home Dr. Bhattacharya is forced to live a life of complete servitude to her cat, Cleveland the Valiant, who is sometimes kind enough to afford her certain minimal rights as guaranteed by the Geneva Convention.


List of Publications