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Joya Chatterji

joya chatterjiName
Prof. Joya Chatterji

Trinity College

What is your field of history?
The history of modern South Asia: in particular the partition of 1947, its causes and consequences, refugees, borders, minorities and migration within and from the Indian subcontinent.

How did you come to specialise in this area?
The silence surrounding these themes in the narrative histories of Indian nationalism, as taught in the Indian schools where I was educated, provoked my interest in these themes.

How has your field developed over the course of your career?
The field has grown hugely with the opening up of official records for this period, and particularly after the 50th anniversary of partition was commemorated in 1997. There has also been a growing body of work using oral history to retrieve the stories of individuals – particularly women – who experienced the horrors of genocide and mass migration. Whereas in the 1980s, the causes of partition were the focus of scholarly research, in recent years scholars have been interested to explore the consequences and legacies of that division.