Assistant Professor, History
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 372 Caste & Inequality in Modern India.
HST 401 (Undergraduate Research Seminar) The Colonial City
Radha Kumar is a historian of colonial and
postcolonial South Asia, focusing on the Tamil-speaking regions of southern
India. Her first book, "Police Matters: The Everyday State and Caste Politics
in South India, 1900-1975" (Cornell University Press, 2021),
draws on previously unexplored police records to examine the close ties between
police and caste authority that were displayed at everyday as well as
exceptional moments through much of the twentieth century.
She has commenced work on a second project on the
Kaveri river dispute in southern India. The study will explore how colonial
subjects and postcolonial citizens made their claims to water, and to political
belonging, between the late-nineteenth and the early twenty-first centuries. At
Syracuse, she teaches courses on global history, Indian history from the
ancient period till the present day, and caste and religious politics in modern
"Police Matters: The Everyday State and Caste Politics, 1900-1975" (Cornell University Press, 2021)
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, 2018.