Indra Sengupta

Indra Sengupta (PhD, Heidelberg University) is a Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute London and Head of its India Research Programme as well as Head of the Max Weber Stiftung – India Branch Office Delhi. Her research interests include the production and practice of knowledge on India in colonial India and Europe, German Orientalism, the practices of historical preservation in colonial India, the politics of history in colonial and postcolonial India, and the historical relationship between education and urban spaces. She is currently working on two projects: 1) a project on Inner city schools and the education of poor Muslim and Catholic children in colonial and postcolonial Kolkata, 1872-1990s. This is a part of the research group on Education and the Urban in India; and 2) a project on travel guides and local histories as popular historical narratives and their relationship with political change. This is a collaborative project and a part of the ICAS:MP module History as a Political Category.  She is currently revising a book manuscript on Preserving India’s Past: Law, Bureaucracy and Historical Conservation in Colonial India 1904-1925, under contract with Routledge Visual and Media Histories.


From Salon to Discipline: State, University and Indology in Germany, 1821 1914 (Heidelberg, 2005).

Edited Volumes

(jointly with Daud Ali) Knowledge Production, Pedagogy, and Institutions in Colonial India (New York, 2011). 

Memory, History, and Colonialism: Engaging with Pierre Nora in Colonial and Postcolonial Contexts, Bulletin of the German Historical Institute London, Supplement 1 (2009). 

Selected articles

‘Preservation between empire, nation and nationalisms: the problem of history and heritage in India’ in (guest ed.) Mark Thatcher, themed section on The state and historic buildings: preserving ‘the national past’, in Nations and Nationalism 24 (1), 2018, 110–130. 

‘Law, Religion, Heritage: Preservation in Late Colonial India. The Problem of the Thatta Mosque’, in ed. Joaquim R. Santos, Preserving Transcultural Heritage: Your Way or my Way? Vale de Cambra, 2017, 647-55. 

Culture-keeping as State Action: Bureaucrats, Administrators, and Monuments in Colonial India, in Past and Present 226 (2015), suppl. 10, 153-177.

Monument Preservation and the Vexing Question of Religious Structures in Colonial India, in From Plunder to Preservation. Britain and the Heritage of Empire, c. 1800-1940, eds. Astrid Swenson and Peter Mandler, Oxford, 2013, 171-85. 

“A Conservation Code for the Colony: John Marshall’s Conservation Manual and Monument Preservation between India and Europe”, in Archaeologizing Heritage?, eds. Michael Falser and Monica Juneja, Berlin, 2013, 21-37. 

Orientalism zwischen Kooperation und Konkurrenz: Eine Kulturgesichte der altindischen Handschriften, in (eds.) Heidrun Brückner and Karin Steiner, 200 Jahre Indienforschung: Geschichte(n), Netzwerke, Diskurse, 2012, 7-26. 

Sacred space and the making of monuments in colonial Orissa, in H.R. Ray (ed.) Archaeology and Text: The Temple in South Asia, OUP, New Delhi, 2009, 168-188. 

Locating lieux de mémoire: A (Post)colonial Perspective. Introduction to Memory, history and colonialism. Engaging with Pierre Nora in colonial and postcolonial contexts. Supplement of the Bulletin of GHI London, No. 1, 2009, 1-8.