Radha Kumar

Assistant Professor, History


Contact Information

514 Eggers Hall
(315) 443-5875


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 


Radha Kumar is a historian of colonial and postcolonial South Asia, focusing on the Tamil-speaking regions of southern India. She is currently at work on a manuscript entitled, Police, Politics and the Everyday State, 1900-1975, which uses the lens of policing to study everyday governance, state violence, and caste politics in the Tamil countryside. The project also explores how popular politics and state violence were affected by India’s mid-twentieth century transition to a postcolonial democracy. She teaches courses on global history, Indian history from the ancient period till the present day, and caste in modern India.


“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).