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Department of History

Professor Peter Robb

BA (Wellington), PhD (London)

Overview

Peter Robb
Department of History

Emeritus Professor

SOAS South Asia Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute

Name:
Professor Peter Robb
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Biography

Peter Robb studied English and History at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, until 1966. At Victoria, he became a senior scholar in 1966 and a Junior Lecturer in History in 1967. He was a Commonwealth Scholar during the years of 1967-1970 and was awarded a PhD from SOAS in 1971.

Professor Robb has held appointments at SOAS since 1971; most significantly as Pro-Director of the School for five years until the end of the 2007/8 session, and before that as Head of the Department of History, and Chair of the Centre of South Asian Studies.

He is currently Research Professor of the History of India.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Royal Asiatic Society, where he is currently a member of Council. He has been chair of the Council of the Society for South Asian Studies and of the British Association for South Asian Studies, and a member of the British Academy's South Asia panel.

Previous PhD Students

Ezra Rashkow, 'The Nature Of Endangerment: Histories Of Hunting, Wildlife, And Forest Socities In Western And Central India, 1857-1947', 2008

Prabhu Narain Bapu, 'Constructing Nation And History: Hindu Mahasabha In Colonial North India 1915-1928', 2010

Sohini Dasgupta, 'Contending Authenticities: Representations of 'Hindu Custom' in Late Nineteenth Century Colonial Bengal', 2010

Sanjukta Ghosh, 'Colonial State, Agricultural Knowledge Transfers And Indigenous Response: Bengal Presidency 1870-1930', 2010

Tara Lynn Mayer, 'Clothing And The Imperial Image: European Dress, Identitiy And Authority In Late Eighteenth And Early Nineteenth Century North India', 2010

Aditya Sarkar, 'Regulated Labour, Unruly Workers: The Making Of Industrial Relations In Late Nineteenth-Century Bombay 1917-1948', 2010

Valerie Ellen Rourke Anderson, 'The Eurasian Problem in Nineteenth Century India', 2012

Upal Chakrabarti, 'Interconnections of the Political: British Political Economy, Agrarian Governance, and Early Nineteenth-century Cuttack (1803-1850)', 2013

Anushay Malik, 'Narrowing Politics: The Labour Movement in Lahore 1947-1974', 2013

Aparajita Mukhopadhyay, 'Wheels of Change? Impact of Railways on Colonial North Indian Society, 1855-1920', 2013

Teaching

Peter Robb chaired the committee that, in the 1970s, introduced the History Department's current pattern of course units. He devised and taught many courses within the Department until his appointment as Pro-Director, from PhD research methodology to the first-year BA introduction to history, and in particular many long-running Masters and undergraduate courses on modern South Asia.

Research

Some 21 students have received their PhDs under Peter Robb's supervision. In 2010, 5 more are expected to be awarded their degrees.
Currently he is supervising 4 other PhD students.

Peter Robb was the founding editor of a collected papers series and one for monographs, published by Curzon Press (now Routledge), and of the SOAS Studies on South Asia published by Oxford University Press.

His own current research interests are represented in two forthcoming books on early Calcutta (Kolkata), namely Sex and Sensibility, and Sentiment and Self, based on the Blechynden diaries in the British Library. He is also undertaking a new revised edition of his History of India for Palgrave Macmillan.

Expertise

For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email enterprise@soas.ac.uk.
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email comms@soas.ac.uk

Available for
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
  • TV
  • Radio
Regional Expertise
  • South Asia
Country Expertise
  • India
Languages

Publications

Authored Books

Robb, Peter (2011) A History of India (second edition). Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (Palgrave Essential Histories)

Robb, Peter (2011) Sex and Sensibility. Richard Blechynden's Calcutta Diaries, 1791-1822. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Robb, Peter (2011) Sentiment and Self. Richard Blechynden's Calcutta Diaries, 1791-1822. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Robb, Peter (2007) Liberalism, Modernity, and the Nation. Oxford University Press.

Robb, Peter (2007) Peasants, Political Economy, and Law. Oxford University Press.

Robb, Peter (2002) A History of India. Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan.

Robb, Peter (1998) Clash of cultures? an Englishman in Calcutta in the 1790s. An inaugural lecture given on 12 March 1998. London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Robb, Peter (1997) Ancient Rights and Future Comfort: Bihar, the Bengal Tenancy Act of 1885 and British Rule in India. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon.

Robb, Peter (1992) The evolution of British policy towards Indian politics, 1880-1920: essays on colonial attitudes, imperial strategies and Bihar. New Delhi: Manohar and Riverdale.

Robb, Peter (1976) The Government of India and Reform: Policies towards Politics and the Constitution, 1916-1921. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (London oriental series, v. 32)

Edited Books

Robb, Peter and Sugihara, Kaoru and Yanagisawa, Haruka, eds. (1996) Local agrarian societies in colonial India: Japanese perspectives. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press. (Collected papers on South Asia, no. 11)

Robb, Peter, ed. (1996) Meanings of agriculture: essays in South Asian history and economics. Delhi: Oxford University Press. (SOAS studies in South Asia)

Robb, Peter, ed. (1995) The concept of race in South Asia. Delhi; Oxford: Oxford University Press. (SOAS studies on South Asia)

Robb, Peter and Malik, Nadeem, eds. (1994) India and Britain: recent past and present challenges. New Delhi: Allied Publishers.

Robb, Peter, ed. (1993) Society and Ideology: Essays in South Asian History presented to Professor K.A. Ballhatchet. Delhi, India: Oxford University Press.

Robb, Peter, ed. (1993) Dalit movements and the meanings of labour in India. Delhi: Oxford University Press. (SOAS studies on South Asia)

Arnold, David and Robb, Peter, eds. (1993) Institutions and Ideologies. A SOAS South Asia Reader. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press. (Collected papers on South Asia, no. 10)

Robb, Peter, ed. (1992) Agrarian structure and economic development: landed property in Bengal and theories of capitalism in Japan. London: School of Oriental and African Studies. (Occasional papers in Third-World economic history, no. 4)

Robb, Peter, ed. (1983) Rural India. Land, Power and Society under British Rule. London: Curzon Press.

Robb, Peter, ed. (1983) Rural South Asia: Linkages, Change and Development. London: Curzon Press.

Robb, Peter and Taylor, David, eds. (1979) Rule, Protest, Identity. Aspects of Modern South Asia. London: Curzon Press.

Book Chapters

Robb, Peter (2008) 'From Law to Rights: the Impact of the Colonial State on Peasant Protest in Bihar.' In: Pinch, William R., (ed.), Speaking of Peasants: Essays on Indian History and Politics in Honor of Walter Hauser. New Delhi: Manohar, pp. 29-56.

Robb, Peter (2002) 'Landed Property, Agrarian Categories and the Agricultural Frontier: Some Reflections on Colonial India.' In: Blue, G. and Bunton, M. and Croizier, R., (eds.), Colonialism in the Modern World. Armouk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, pp. 71-99.

Robb, Peter (1996) 'Distinctive Aspects of Rural Production in India: the Colonial Period.' In: Robb, Peter and Sugihara, Kaoru and Yanagisawa, Haruka, (eds.), Local agrarian societies in colonial India: Japanese perspectives. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, pp. 1-47. (Collected papers on South Asia, no. 11)

Robb, Peter (1996) 'Variant Meanings of Agriculture: Implications for Research and Policy.' In: Robb, Peter, (ed.), Meanings of agriculture: essays in South Asian history and economics. Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-35. (SOAS studies in South Asia)

Robb, Peter (1995) 'South Asia and the Concept of Race.' In: Robb, Peter, (ed.), The concept of race in South Asia. Delhi; Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-76. (SOAS studies on South Asia)

Robb, Peter (1994) 'India and Britain: Some Reflections on their Material and Cultural Interaction since Independence.' In: Robb, Peter and Malik, Nadeem, (eds.), India and Britain: recent past and present challenges. New Delhi: Allied Publishers, pp. 3-30.

Robb, Peter (1993) 'Ideas in agrarian history: some observations on the British and nineteenth-century Bihar.' In: Arnold, David and Robb, Peter, (eds.), Institutions and Ideologies. A SOAS South Asia Reader. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, pp. 201-223. (Collected papers on South Asia, no. 10)

Robb, Peter (1993) 'Texts, Communities, and the History of Change in Modern South Asia.' In: Robb, Peter, (ed.), Society and Ideology: Essays in South Asian History presented to Professor K.A. Ballhatchet. Delhi, India: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-21.

Robb, Peter (1993) 'The Impact of British Rule on Religious Community: Reflections on the Trial of Maulvi Ahmadullah of Patna in 1865.' In: Robb, Peter, (ed.), Society and Ideology: Essays in South Asian History presented to Professor K.A. Ballhatchet. Delhi, India: Oxford University Press, pp. 142-176.

Robb, Peter (1993) 'Meanings of Labour in Indian Social Context.' In: Robb, Peter, (ed.), Dalit movements and the meanings of labour in India. Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-67. (SOAS studies on South Asia)

Robb, Peter (1993) 'Intermediaries and Change in Eighteenth-Century Gujarat: A Note on G.D. Sharma’s View of Credit, Revenue and Commerce.' In: Austin, Gareth and Sugihara, Kaoru, (eds.), Local Suppliers of Credit in the Third World, 1750-1960. London: Macmillan; New York: St. Martin’s Press, pp. 29-35.

Robb, Peter (1992) 'Agrarian structure and economic development.' In: Robb, Peter, (ed.), Agrarian structure and economic development: landed property in Bengal and theories of capitalism in Japan. London: School of Oriental and African Studies, pp. 1-23. (Occasional papers in Third-World economic history, no. 4)

Robb, Peter (1991) 'The Ordering of Rural India. British Control in 19th-Century Bengal and Bihar.' In: Anderson, David and Killingray, David, (eds.), Policing the Empire. Government, Authority and Control, 1830-1940. Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press, pp. 126-150.

Robb, Peter (1991) 'Town and Country: Economic Linkages and Political Mobilization in Bihar in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.' In: Hill, John L., (ed.), The Congress and Indian Nationalism. Historical Perspectives. London: Curzon Press; Wellesley Hills, MA: Riverdale, pp. 158-191. (Collected papers on South Asia, no. 9)

Robb, Peter (1989) 'The British Empire in India, 1858-1947.' In: Robinson, F. C. R., (ed.), The Cambridge encyclopedia of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 116-120.

Robb, Peter (1988) 'In Search of Dominant Peasants: Some Notes on the Implementation in Bihar of the Bengal Tenancy Act 1885.' In: Dewey, Clive, (ed.), Arrested Development in India. Manohar: New Delhi, pp. 187-222.

Robb, Peter (1987) 'Some Aspects of British Policy towards Indian Nationalism, 1885-1920.' In: Simmons, Colin and Shepperdson, Mike, (eds.), The Indian National Congress and the Political Economy of India, 1885-1985. Aldershot: Avebury, pp. 61-97.

Robb, Peter (1983) 'Land and Society. The British “Transformation” in India.' In: Robb, Peter, (ed.), Rural India. Land, Power and Society under British Rule. London: Curzon Press, pp. 1-22.

Robb, Peter (1983) 'State, Peasant and Moneylender in late Nineteenth-Century Bihar: Some Colonial Inputs.' In: Robb, Peter, (ed.), Rural India. Land, Power and Society under British Rule. London: Curzon Press, pp. 106-148.

Robb, Peter (1983) 'The External Dimension in Rural South Asia.' In: Robb, Peter, (ed.), Rural South Asia: Linkages, Change and Development. London: Curzon Press, pp. 1-22.

Robb, Peter (1979) 'The Bureaucrat as Reformer: Two Indian Civil Servants and the Constitution of 1919.' In: Robb, Peter and Taylor, David, (eds.), Rule, Protest, Identity. Aspects of Modern South Asia. London: Curzon Press, pp. 49-82.

Robb, Peter (1977) 'Officials and Non-Officials as Leaders in Popular Agitations: Shahabad 1917 and Other “Conspiracies”.' In: Pandey, B. N., (ed.), Leadership in South Asia. Vikas: New Delhi, pp. 179-210.

Articles

Robb, Peter (2012) 'Mr Upjohn’s Debts: Money and Friendship in Early Colonial Calcutta.' Modern Asian Studies . (Forthcoming)

Robb, Peter (2007) 'On the Rebellion of 1857. A Brief History of an Idea.' Economic and Political Weekly, 42 (19). pp. 1696-1702.

Robb, Peter (2006) 'Children, Emotion, Identity and Empire: Views from the Blechyndens' Calcutta Diaries (1790-1822).' Modern Asian Studies, 40 (1). pp. 175-201.

Robb, Peter (2000) 'Credit, Work and Race in 1790s Calcutta: Early Colonialism through a Contemporary European View.' Indian Economic and Social History Review, 37 (1). pp. 1-25.

Robb, Peter (2000) 'On C.A. Bayly, Empire and Information: Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780-1870.' Comparative Criticism, 22 . pp. 243-249.

Robb, Peter (1998) 'Completing our "Stock of Geography", or an Object "Still More Sublime": Colin Mackenzie's Survey of Mysore 1799-1810.' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 8 (2). pp. 181-206.

Robb, Peter (1997) 'The Colonial State and Constructions of Indian Identity: an Example on the North-East Frontier in the 1880s.' Modern Asian Studies, 31 (2). pp. 245-283.

Robb, Peter (1994) 'Labour in India 1860-1920. Typologies, Change and Regulation.' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 4 (1). pp. 37-66.

Robb, Peter (1992) 'Peasants' Choices? Indian Agriculture and the Limits of Commercialization in Nineteenth-Century Bihar.' The Economic History Review, New Series, 45 (1). pp. 97-119.

Robb, Peter (1991) 'Muslim Identity and Separatism in British India: the Significance of M.A. Ansari.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 56 (1). pp. 104-125.

Robb, Peter (1990) 'Ideas in Agrarian History: some observations on the British and nineteenth-century Bihar.' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1 . pp. 17-43.

Robb, Peter (1988) 'Bihar, the Colonial State and Agricultural Development in India, 1880-1920.' Indian Economic and Social History Review, 25 (2). pp. 205-235.

Robb, Peter (1988) 'Law and Agrarian Society in India: The Case of Bihar and the Nineteenth-Century Tenancy Debate.' Modern Asian Studies, 22 (2). pp. 319-354.

Robb, Peter (1987) 'New Directions in South Asian History.' South Asia Research, 7 (2). pp. 123-142.

Robb, Peter (1986) 'The Challenge of Gau Mata: British Policy and Religious Change in India, 1885-1920.' Modern Asian Studies, 20 (2). pp. 283-319.

Robb, Peter (1981) 'British Rule and Indian "Improvement".' The Economic History Review, New Series, 34 (4). pp. 507-523.

Robb, Peter (1979) 'Hierarchy and Resources: Peasant Stratification in Late Nineteenth-Century Bihar.' Modern Asian Studies, 13 (1). pp. 97-126.

Robb, Peter (1976) 'The Government of India and Annie Besant.' Modern Asian Studies, 10 (1). pp. 107-130.

Robb, Peter (1976) 'The British Cabinet and Indian Reform, 1917-19.' Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 4 (3). pp. 318-384.

This list was generated on Thu Oct 30 00:34:59 2014 GMT.