India Research Programme of GHIL

The India research programme of the German Historical Institute London came into existence in early 2018. It originated in the collaborative Transnational Research Group on Poverty Reduction and Policy for the Poor between the State and Private Actors: Education Policy in India since the Nineteenth Century, which was set up in 2013 under the direction of the German Historical Institute London (GHIL) with funding provided by the Max Weber Stiftung. Since 2015 it has been part of the M.S. Merian – R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies ‘Metamorphose of the Political: Comparative Perspectives on the Long Twentieth Century’ (ICAS:MP) as member and coordinator in the module History as a Political Category (see below). In continuation of its interest in the theme of education and poverty in 2017 the Centre started another research group on Education and the Urban. Further research projects are expected to follow in 2018.

Research Group: Education and the Urban

A research group on the topic started in late 2017. The group aims to examine the relation between education and the urban in a society that has undergone rapid and complex processes of urbanisation in the seven decades since independence from colonial rule in 1947. A special focus of the group is on marginalisation and its relationship with education and the urban. The project takes a multi-sited approach to understanding the way in which marginalisation in education is configured in the urban space. The core group consists of four principal investigators who investigate specific aspects of education in four different cities of India (Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata); postdoctoral researchers and a network of scholars working on the theme in both larger and smaller urban centres. Contributions from external scholars take the form of participation in conferences and workshops of the Research Group and a set working papers on the theme. The Research Group will initially be funded by the India Research Programme of the Max Weber Stiftung, with participatory, proportionate funding for events in India by project partners in India. 

Selling History: Tourist Guides, Bazaar Histories, and the Politics of the Past

The project started in August 2017 as a part of the thematic module History as a Political Category of the recently established MS Merian/ R Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies: Metamorphosis of the Political (ICAS MP). It is a joint project of Neeladri Bhattacharya (JNU Delhi), Indra Sengupta (GHI London), and a research assistant, Paulami Guha Biswas, and will continue till 2020/21.

Archives of Indian Labour

Robert Raman, Max Weber Stiftung India Branch Office

Bilderfahrzeuge/Image Vehicles

The International Research Network “Bilderfahrzeuge (Image Vehicles): Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology”, is supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research, and realized in a collaboration of the Warburg Institute, London, with German partner institutions. The objective of this project is to explore the migration of images, objects, and ideas in a broad historical and geographical perspective. In particular, it seeks to provide a contribution to the history of images which is based on Aby Warburg’s approach and method, rethinking them in the light of new interdisciplinary, international scholarship.

Dipanwita Donde, Max Weber Stiftung India Branch Office

ICAS:MP – Thematic Module 1: History as a Political Category

The M.S Merian – R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies ‘Metamorphoses of the Political: Comparative Perspectives on the Long Twentieth Century’ (ICAS:MP) started in July 2015. ICAS:MP is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and is based on a network of six Indian and German academic partner institutes who are engaged in six different thematic modules. ICAS: MP focuses on key political processes that have emerged in parallel in many parts of the world during the twentieth century through to the present day, processes that are entangled yet heterogeneous. Located in the Global South where ‘most of the world’ resides, ICAS:MP is thus not just another initiative to strengthen ‘Area Studies’ nor a base for narrowly bilateral Indo-German comparison. Rather, it serves as a centre of advanced international research located in India in order to consciously unsettle the methodological nationalism and Eurocentrism that continue to frame research in the humanities and social sciences.

Past Project

Transnational Research Group (TRG) Poverty and Education in India (2013-17)