Dr Sanjukta Ghosh

Key information

Honorary Artistic Director, SOAS South Asia Institute
MA and MPhil (JNU, New Delhi), PhD (London)
Email address


Dr Sanjukta Ghosh studied World History, Politics and Literature at Loreto College before undertaking MA and MPhil by dissertation in Modern History from the Centre for Historical Studies at JNU, New Delhi. She is a Commonwealth Scholarship-funded (ACU) doctorate in modern history from SOAS Department of History, Religion and Philosophy where she has been a Senior Teaching Fellow. She has worked in funded research projects on agrarian history, food politics, technology and international development. She has academic, business, media and outreach publications as well as international advocacy experience in networking roles within the charity sector. In the UK, she has worked as an editor and a country analyst in the publishing industry; policy and advocacy research coordinator of European non-government interventions against caste-based discrimination, and for a consortium of advocacy organisations for unrepresented indigenous minorities at the UN, UK and EU parliamentary levels. In the course of her work, she was given a citizen’s award from Jharkhand for her social and educational work among Dalits.

Sanjukta has held research awards by the Indian Council of Historical Research, Charles Wallace Trust, Hammond Trust (British Council), Leche Trust, British Federation of Women’s Graduate and the Usha Bala Memorial Prize in Bengali Literature (Loreto College, CU). Among major research projects, she has worked in the Routledge series on Partition, the ERC project on Infrastructure Development, the Heritage Lottery Fund project on the East India Company and completed the festschrift for Prof Peter Robb (SOAS) in 2017 that was launched at the Royal Asiatic Society.

She has been a research grant consultant to network and membership-based organisations in India, UK and Europe. She is External Research Officer to Kazi Nazrul Islam University (West Bengal), a research network member of the European Social Science History Conference and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. In the UK, she is appointed as the lead coordinator of the Society for the promotion of Indian classical music among youth (SPICMACAY), serves local government multicultural committees, faith forums and as an invited speaker to community organisations. At SSAI, since 2016, Sanjukta has been involved with partnerships, conceptual planning and production of numerous cultural events that have received national and international media coverage.

Her research interests in modern South Asia from the nineteenth century to the present focus on the Bengal Presidency, modern West Bengal and Bangladesh. These include agrarian history, decolonisation and international development, urbanisation and cultural heritage practices that require cross-disciplinary engagement with Bengali literature, oral tradition, illustrations and art.

SSAI Artistic Events
  1.   Ismat Chughtai’s ‘Lihaaf’ - A Theatrical Narration by Roli Arun, 29 March 2019
  2.   Creating ‘Yogi and Ghat’: A Baithak in Classical Music with Barnali Chattopadhyay, Sanju Sahai, Sunil Jadav and Ustad Surjeet Singh, 17 March 2019.
  3.   Life and Times of Tagore (English subtitle), followed by Talk: Rabindranath Tagore and the English Romantics, 11 December 2018.
  4.   Narratives of Power and Liberation: Rabindranath Tagore’s Dance Theatre, 18 October 2018.
  5.   Cosmic Idol to Ideal: A Passage of Durga to Nava Durga, 27 October 2018.
  6.   Odissi Dance by Janhabi Behera (Orissa Dance Academy and SPICMACAY), 8 September 2018.
  7.   Dance Demonstration and Story Telling with Sohini Moksha Troupe, PWW Cloisters Senate House, 19-20 October 2017
  8.   Kumartuli Art: Durga Idol Display and Dance 'The Third Eye', Bloomsbury Festival, 19-20 October 2017.
  9.   Bengal's Kumartuli Art: Durga Idol Making and Display in SOAS, 02-07 October 2017.
  10.   Kolkata and UK celebrations: British Council’s Mix the City, 02 October 2017.
  11.   Agomoni: Festival Special Lyrics, Oct 02-07, 2017.
  12.   Kumartuli in the poems of Bashabi Fraser, Festive Poetry Readings, 02 October 2017.
  13.   Kumartuli and Durga Road Show, a short film in collaboration with iLEAD, 02 October 2017.
  14.   Idol Artists Corner: Clay and Shola works, 02 October 2017.
  15.   Clay Workshop: A Family event 07 October 2017.
  16.   Transnational Durga, Java and Bali: Docu feature and discussion, 06 October 2017.
  17.   Pop-up Artists Corner: Demonstration and Workshop on Folk Paintings,
  18.   Culture Talks: Kolkata Street Children, Heroic Shaktism, Knowledge is Power, Gods among Bengal Patuas and Terracotta Temples.
  19.   Film Screening: Nazrul – His Life…His Journey with filmmaker and author Mujibar Rahaman, 22 September 2017.


Edited Books
  • E. Rashkow, S. Ghosh and U. Chakrabarti eds., Memory, Identity and the Colonial Encounter in India, Essays in Honour of Peter Robb, Routledge: India/London, 2017.
Authored Books
  • Colonial State, Agricultural Knowledge Transfers and Indian Response: Bengal Presidency 1870-1930 (forthcoming).
Book Chapters
  • ‘Introduction’ in Rashkow, Ghosh and Chakrabarti eds., Memory, Identity and the Colonial Encounter in India, Routledge: India/London, 2017, pp.1-29.
  • ‘Scientific Knowledge and Practices of Green-Manuring in Bengal Presidency, 1905-1925’ in Rashkow, Ghosh and Chakrabarti eds., Memory, Identity and the Colonial Encounter in India, Routledge: India/London, 2017, pp. 298-319. 
  • ‘The East India Company and Calcutta Bound Ships’ in J Griffiths et.al., From Red Dragon to Nemesis: Innovations in East India Company Shipping, SCT and Heritage Lottery Fund Publication, London, 2018, pp. 47-57. 
  • Famine, Food and the Politics of Survival in Calcutta: 1943-1950’ in Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and Tanika Sarkar (eds.), Calcutta: The Stormy Decades, Social Science Press, New Delhi, 2015, pp. 204-230.
  • ‘Understanding Refugee Experience as Heritage’, Keynote article in Faith Initiative: Embracing Diversity, Issue 37, April 2018.
  •  ‘Illustrations as a form of scientific dialogue’, Journal of Illustrations, vol. 2, Issues 3&4, Intellect Publishers, UK.
  • ‘Bhadralok participation in agriculture: the appeal of Sriniketan pedagogues in colonial Bengal’ (submission due by invitation: Indian Economic and Social History Review)
  • 'Experiments with the Self as Citizen: Bengal’s Bratachari Movement’, (forthcoming) International Conference Proceedings: Concept and Canvas of Knowledge, Vishwabharati University, India, 22-23 February 2019. 
  • 'Bengal's Election as the Nation's Frontline Critic', SOAS South Asia Notes, May 21, 2019.
  • ‘Navadurga Launch’, SSAI e-Bulletin, 13 November 2018.
  • 'Bengal in London's East End', SOAS South Asia Notes, January 25, 2016.
  • 'Cameron Returns with 24 per cent of votes' http://www.epaper.eisamay.com/ Details.aspx?id=15536&boxid= 141748953
  • ‘Crop Improvement, Technology and Changes in Indigenous Sugar Enterprise: Colonial India 1880-1930’ (ESSHC Abstracts, Valencia: 2016).
  • ‘Science and Practice: the colonial legacy of ‘improvement’ in Indian agricultural knowledge’, for the international conference Framing 'Asian Studies': (Book of Abstracts: IIAS and ISEAS: Leiden), 18-20 November 2013. 
  • Editor, SSAI Working Paper Series:
  • https://www.soas.ac.uk/south- asia-institute/publications/ working-papers/
  • Co-editor: Annual Country Reports, World of Information (Cambridge) and Kogan Page (London).

Research interests

Modern South Asia from the nineteenth century to the present day focus on the Bengal Presidency, modern West Bengal and Bangladesh; agrarian and food policies; rural-urban linkages, commodities and consumption; histories of scientific knowledge and practices, press and public sphere; socio-economic and cultural histories of migration, urbanisation and heritage practices.

Contact Sanjukta