Gyanendra Pandey

Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor

Department of History

Office: Bowden 325

Phone: (404) 727-0794



Gyanendra Pandey (B.A. Hons, University of Delhi; D.Phil., University of Oxford)
Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, and Director, Interdisciplinary Workshop on Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, Emory University.

Areas of specialization: colonial and post-colonial history; subaltern and minority histories; decolonization and democracy; historiography; South Asia; United States

A founding member and leading theorist of the Subaltern Studies project, Pandey has written extensively on colonial and postcolonial South Asia; ethnic conflict and nationalism; race and caste; citizenship and marginality; contemporary politics and democracy; and the history of history-writing. He was trained at the University of Delhi, India and the University of Oxford, U.K., where he held a Rhodes Scholarship, a Nuffield College scholarship and research fellowships at two colleges. He has held full-time teaching appointments at universities and research institutions in India, UK and the USA, and been a Visiting Professor in Japan, Australia and the Netherlands, as well as the UK and the US.  Before moving to Emory, he taught at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata; the University of Delhi; and the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

Among his single-authored books are A History of Prejudice: Race, Caste and Difference in India and the USA (2013); Routine Violence: Nations, Fragments, Histories (2006); The Construction of Communalism in Colonial North India (rev. ed. 2006); The Ascendancy of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh: Class, Community and Nation in Northern India, 1920-1940 (rev. ed. 2002); and Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India (2001). Three of his monographs were collected in The Gyanendra Pandey Omnibus (2008); and one, The Construction of Communalism in Colonial North India, was reissued as an ‘Oxford India Perennial’ to mark the centenary of Oxford University Press in 2012.

For several years now, Pandey has been engaged in developing a dialogue between historians and social scientists working on the global North and South. Between 2006 and 2012, he organized a series of international, interdisciplinary workshops in Emory, as well as in India, around questions of marginality, subalternity and difference, and unarchived histories. Publications following from the workshops include a specially edited guest issue of the postcolonial studies journal, Interventions (2008); and three major edited anthologies, Subaltern Citizens and their Histories: Investigations from India and the USA (2010), Subalternity and Difference: Investigations from the North and the South (2011), and Un-archived Histories: the “Mad” and the “Trifling” (2014).

Pandey’s research is currently focused on two areas: the contest over modernity and secularism in colonial and postcolonial South Asia; and the changed conditions of survival, citizenship and political participation in countries across the globe. He is working on two books on the history of 20th century India, tentatively entitled ‘Men at Home’ and ‘Dreaming in English,’ as well as a collaborative study of practices of democracy in the late 20th and early 21st century world.

His current and recent Ph.D. students have worked on agrarian transformation and the making of ‘peasants’ and modern agriculture in different parts of South Asia; artisanal and artistic production among tribal peasants; patterns of labor migration; contests over survival and citizenship in colonial and postcolonial cities (in India and Pakistan); the construction of respectability and the ‘ideal’ woman in modern India; and changing practices of sovereignty and power in the princely states.

Ongoing collaborative research and public intellectual projects include investigations of subaltern citizens and their histories; politics and democracy in our time; and the future of America.

Curriculum Vitae


  • African-American history
  • Colonial and postcolonial history
  • Subaltern studies
  • South Asia