Dr. Neilesh Bose

Dr. Neilesh Bose
Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair
Office: Cle B234

BA (Pittsburgh), MA (Chicago), PhD (Tufts)

Area of expertise

Modern South Asia History, Global History, Cultural and Intellectual History

Office Hours

Summer 2024: No office hours


My research and teaching interests include the history of modern South Asia (the Indian subcontinent), the British Empire, decolonization, and the history of migrations. Additionally, I hold interests in theater, performance studies, and popular culture. My first book examined the intersections between linguistic identity and Muslim religious community formation in late colonial Bengal. I am presently in the midst of two book projects. One explores the history of religious reform in nineteenth century colonial India and its relationship to comparative religion and the history of secularism. The other is a biography of an anti-colonial itinerant nationalist active in the U.S., Canada, and various parts of the world in the early twentieth century. After earning my PhD in South Asian history at Tufts University, I’ve taught history at the University of North Texas and St. John’s University before joining the University of Victoria in 2015 as Tier II Canada Research Chair in Global and Comparative History. I have also served as a visiting faculty member at Queens College of the City University of New York as well as India’s Ashoka University.


Selected publications

Recasting the Region: Language, Culture, and Islam in Colonial Bengal


Recasting the Region: Language, Culture, and Islam in Colonial Bengal (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014).

Edited Volumes

India after World History: Literature, Comparison, and Approaches to Globalization (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2022).

South Asian Migrations in Global History: Labor, Law, and Wayward Lives (London: Bloomsbury, 2020).

Culture and Power in South Asian Islam: Defying the Perpetual Exception (London: Routledge, 2015).

Beyond Bollywood and Broadway: Plays from the South Asian Diaspora (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2009).

Maanusher Adhikare (Of Human Rights) (co-translated and co-edited with Sudipto Chatterjee) (Kolkata: Seagull Press, 2009).

Recent Articles and Reviews

2022, “Taraknath Das: Race and Citizenship between India and the U.S.A,” in The United States and South Asia from the Age of Empire to Decolonization, edited by Nico Slate and Harald Fischer-Tine, 141 – 162. Leiden: Leiden University Press.

2021, “The History of Afghanistan as Global History,” Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 41, no. 2 (August): 237 – 243.

2021, “Gandhi Beyond Gandhi: The Space of Translation in History,” Socio-Legal Review Forum Posted 25 June.

2021, “India and Africa in Parallax: In Conversation with Renu Modi, Shobana Shankar, and Meera Venkatachalam,” Borderlines conversation posted 15 June.

2021, “Introduction: South Asian Migrations in Global Histories,” Journal of World History 32, 1 (March): 1 – 17.

2020. (co-authored with Victor V. Ramraj) “Lex Mercatoria, Legal Pluralism, and the Modern State through the Lens of the East India Company, 1600–1757,” Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 40, 2: 277 – 290.

2020, A Local History of Global Capital: Jute and Peasant Life in the Bengal Delta by Tariq Ali, Princeton University Press, Asian Studies Review, published online 19 March.

2020, Nation and Region in Grierson’s linguistic survey of India and Colonialism and knowledge in Grierson’s linguistic survey of India by Javed Majeed, Routledge, Global Intellectual History, published online 17 January.

2020, “Taraknath Das (1884 – 1958), British Columbia, and the Anti-Colonial Borderlands,” BC Studies (204): 67 – 88.

2018, “Decolonization and South Asian Studies: Pakistan, “Failure,” and the Promise of Area Studies” South Asian Review (special edition, “Future(s) of South Asian Studies) 39, 1 (2018): 43-50.

2018, (with Kris Manjapra and Iftekhar Iqbal) “Oral Histories of Decolonization: Bengali Intellectuals, Memory, and the Archive” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 41, 4 (December): 827 - 913.

2018, “Inheritance and the Idea of the East in Banglaphone Thought” for South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 41, 4 (December): 863 – 875.

2017, “Forum: On A. Azfar Moin’s Millennial SovereignHistory and Theory 56, 1 (March): 54-97.

2017, “East Bengal in South Asian history: Islam, Bengali, and Shifting Centers of Power,” in Readings in Bengal history: Identity Formation and Colonial Legacy, edited by Asha Islam Nayeem and Aksadul Alam, 111—118. Dhaka: Bangladesh History Association.

2017, Revisiting India’s Partition: New Essays on Memory, Culture, and Politics edited by Amritjit Singh, Nalini Iyer, and Rahul K. Gairola, Lexington Books, Canadian Journal of History 52, 3 (December 2017): 582-584.

2017, The Rays Before Satyajit: Creativity and Modernity in Colonial India by Chandak Sengoopta, Oxford University Press, American Historical Review 122, 5 (December 2017): 1585-1586.

2017, “India in a World: Dilemmas of Sovereignty” History and Theory 56, 1 (March 2017): 54-60, a review essay of A. Azfar Moin, The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam (Columbia, 2012).

2017, “Religion between Region and Nation: Rezaul Karim, Bengal, and Muslim Politics at the End of Empire,” in Muslims Against the Muslim League: Critiques of the Idea of Pakistan, edited by Meghan Robb and Ali Osman Qasmi, 338 – 349. Delhi and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


HSTR 112A World History 1900-1945
HSTR 275 Modern South Asia From Early Empires to Ghandi
HSTR 370 Rising Peoples: The Struggle Against Colonialism in Asia and Africa
HSTR 505 World History: Empires and Nations