Introducing: Girija Joshi
Girija Joshi will be doing research for her doctoral dissertation at Leiden University. She will be examining the ways in which the different constraints upon and possibilities for movement that developed in South Asia along with the establishment of the colonial state transformed both the nature and the worth of community membership in the subcontinent. Her research will be supervised by Prof.dr Leo Lucassen and Prof.dr. Jos Gommans.
I am from India, born and raised in Delhi. As an undergraduate History student at Delhi University, I was exposed primarily to Indian history. Having finished my bachelor's degree in 2011, I took a year off to think about what I would like to study next. During this time, I spent some time learning German and Sanskrit, while also reading more European history than I had previously.
On the recommendation of academic friends in Delhi, I applied to and was accepted for the Research Master's programme in History at Leiden University (2012-14), for which I received a scholarship from an Indian foundation. I sought to use the Master's programme as a means to explore what was then the primary focus of my historical interest: the story of the development of academic history. For my Master's thesis, I studied the writings of two historians, Jacob Burckhardt and Johan Huizinga, seeking to understand their views on the relationship between history and society and the calling of the historian.
During my time at Leiden, I also developed an interest in social history through a class on early modern and modern urban migrations. In the long(er) run, this course provided me a somewhat different route via which to return to an especially popular theme in Indian history: that of community and identity. For my doctoral dissertation therefore, I will be examining the ways in which the different constraints upon and possibilities for movement that developed in South Asia along with the establishment of the colonial state transformed both the nature and the worth of community membership in the subcontinent. I have chosen two case studies for my research, the provinces of Delhi and 24-Pargana (in Bengal), during the period c.1700-1860. My research will be supervised by Prof.dr. Leo Lucassen and Prof.dr. Jos Gommans.