Radha Kumar

Assistant Professor, History


Contact Information

514 Eggers Hall
(315) 443-5875
Curriculum Vitae
Kumar CV 2017


Ph.D., Princeton University, 2015


Modern South Asia: policing and sovereignty, legal history, colonial and post-colonial politics


HST 122 Global History: 1750 to the present
HST 328 Ancient and Medieval India 
HST 329 Making of Modern India 
HST 300 Religion in South Asian Politics 
HST 300 Caste & Inequality in Modern India 
HST 401 (Undergraduate Research Seminar) The Colonial City 


I am a historian of colonial and postcolonial South Asia, with a research focus on the southern, Tamil-speaking regions of the subcontinent. My current project uses the lens of policing to explore everyday governance, (re)production of colonial knowledge in the management of dispersed rural populations, and the deployment of routine violence under the British as well as early postcolonial governments. I am working on a book manuscript, titled Police, Politics, and the Everyday State in South India, 1900-1975, which will examine policing not simply as state authority exercised on passive populations, but also as spatial practice that blurs the line between state and society, to argue that policing was simultaneously constitutive of the everyday authority of the state and of popular politics. 


“Policing Everyday Life: The FIR in the Tamil Countryside, c. 1900-1950,” Indian Economic and Social History Review, 54, 3, 2017, pp. 361-87.

“Seeing Like a Policeman: Everyday Violence in British India, c. 1900-1950,” in Dwyer, Nettelbeck and Ryan eds Violence, Colonialism and Empire in the Modern World, Cambridge Imperial and Post-colonial Studies, Palgrave Macmillan. (forthcoming).