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PhD in History Humaira Chowdhury

PhD in History Humaira Chowdhury
Fitzwilliam College


I completed my MPhil in Modern South Asian History at the University of Cambridge (2017). I have a Bachelors and Masters degree in Sociology. In 2015, I received the Inlaks Shivdasani research grant to be a visiting scholar at the Centre of Islamic Studies (FAMES) at Cambridge. 

Research Interests

My doctoral thesis focuses on the experiences of internally displaced Muslim communities in post-partition West Bengal. The historiography on 'Muslim ghettos' in West Bengal has tended to rely on symbolic and spatialised binaries, such as, Hindu-Muslim, insider-outsider, safe-unsafe, rural-urban, and city-borderland. These categorisations have produced analytical blind-spots that describe Muslim neighbourhoods predominantly through tropes of exclusion, marginalisation, and victimisation. The overgeneralising accounts of Muslim ghettoisation in post-partition West Bengal precludes the possibility of understanding Muslim neighbourhoods as vibrant spaces of social and economic enterprise, rooted in thriving commercial corridors that link these localities to their borderlands and beyond. My thesis examines the social histories and genealogies of Calcutta's 'Muslim ghettos',  and explores linkages between hereditary forms of labour and immobility, with a specific focus on darzis (tailors) in Calcutta. 

My research interests primarily lie in migration, gender, work, economic and social history

Regional focus:

South Asia

India (West Bengal)


Research Supervision

Professor Samita Sen

Professor Joya Chatterji

Other Professional Activities

Co-convenor of the South Asia Workshop (2017-2018)

Co-convenor of Economic and Social History Workshop (2019-2020)


  • Economic, Social History