Shuvatri Dasgupta

Doctoral Candidate
Editor, Journal of the History of Ideas Blog
Co-convenor of Grammars of Marriage and Desire (GoMAD), University of Cambridge CRASSH Research Network
Co-convenor of Histories of Race Graduate Workshop (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge)
Shuvatri Dasgupta

I completed a bachelor's degree in history from Presidency University, Kolkata, India. I was an exchange student and Charpak Fellow in Sciences Po Paris (Reims campus) during the fall semester in 2015, studying for a certificate programme in European Affairs, and B1 French. I finished my postgraduate in history, also from Presidency University, in 2017, and wrote a dissertation titled 'Beyond Local and Global Narratives: Concept Histories of the Baidya Community in Colonial Bengal, c.1870-1930'. Currently, I am a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, funded by the Cambridge Trust and Rajiv Gandhi Foundation Fellowship. I am also an Editor on the blog of Journal of The History of Ideas, and a co-editor for the network Decolonizing Intellectual History. For the academic year of 2021-22, I am co-convening an interdisciplinary research network funded by CRASSH, Cambridge, titled 'Grammars of Marriage and Desire' (GoMAD), and also the Histories of Race Graduate Workshop at the Faculty of History.

My doctoral dissertation is tentatively titled: "A History of Conjugality: On Patriarchy, Caste, and Capital, in the British Empire c.1872-1947." It deals with the political economy of Hindu marriage by looking at it through the intersectional lens of global capital and patriarchy--in an attempt to argue that the liminality of the institution of marriage between private and public spheres, male and female lifeworlds, and legal and customary practices, has obfuscated its centrality in socio-political and economic histories of empires. Through this historically contextualised investigation of Hindu marriage, my dissertation seeks to explore the larger shared abstract vocabularies within diverse forms of heteronormative union. By using the lens of Social Reproduction Theory (and Marxist-feminist scholarship in general)  it attempts to establish the importance of uncovering these histories of marriage not just as legal or gender histories, but as the origin point of private property ownership and capitalist exploitation, in human history. 

My general research interests include global history, gender history, intellectual history and political thought, histories of empire, histories of capitalism, Marxist and Marxist-feminist theory, and critical theory in general.


HAP seminar on 'Empire' in Lent Term, 2020.

HAP lecture on 'Empire', in Lent Term 2021. 

Supervision Paper 23 'World History Since 1914'. 

Paper titled ‘Caught in the Middle (east): Entangling and revisualising geographies’ in Columbia University’s workshop ‘South South Intellectual Histories’, October 2016. Conference website:

Paper titled ‘Globalising existence(​astitva​): Transtemporal Concept Histories of the ​Baidya​ Community in Colonial Bengal’ in the Annual Graduate Approaches to Global History Workshop, Pembroke College, University of Oxford, May 2018.

Paper titled ‘Beyond Ethics and Epics: Rethinking the Mahabharatas through the Politics of Religion, Caste and Gender’ in a workshop titled ‘Mahabharatas in Global Intellectual History’ in LMU Munich, November, 2018.

Conference report:

Paper titled ‘From Statistical Surveys to Ethnographic and Anthropological Exercises: Caste in the Colonial Census, c.1870-1911’ in Graduate Research Day, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, April 2019.

Paper titled '‘In what Language does the Subaltern Speak? Juxtaposing caste and gender in colonial South Asia, c.1870-1930’ in Gender and Sexuality Graduate History Conference, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, May 2019.

Paper titled ‘Rethinking Privilege: Juxtaposing Caste, Class, and Gender in Colonial Bengal, c.1872-1930’, in St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata for ‘International Conference on Caste Questions in West Bengal and Bangladesh’, October 2019.


Key publications

'Nicholas Heron on Kantorowicz’s Dante': Broadly Speaking (An interview by Shuvatri Dasgupta), JHI Blog, August 2021.

'Decolonizing Capital: A Politics of the Present': In Conversation with Samita Sen, Borderlines, May 2021

Article on the JHI blog titled 'Can There Be a Global Intellectual History of Caste?':

Review of 'The Mortal God: Imagining the Sovereign in colonial India', Milinda Banerjee, Cambridge University Press, 2019. in Itinerario, Volume 43, Issue 3, December 2019.

Co-authored article in JHI blog (blog of Journal of History of Ideas) titled 'Historicizing Ghosts: Reimagining Realities in Nineteenth Century Popular Bengali Fiction', in February, 2017:

Decolonizing Archives, Rethinking Canons: Writing Intellectual Histories of Global Entanglements (26-28 March, 2021)

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