SOAS University of London

Department of History

Eleanor Newbigin

BA, MPhil, PhD (Cantab)
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Publications


Eleanor Newbigin
Department of History

Senior Lecturer in the History of Modern South Asia

Centre for Gender Studies

Member, Centre for Gender Studies

SOAS South Asia Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute

Dr Eleanor Newbigin
Email address:
020 7898 4625
020 7898 4699
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
Thursday 10.30-12.00 or by appointment


I am interested in ideas and practices of citizenship in India, especially during the subcontinent’s transition to independence. My research focuses in particular on the relationship between political economy and religious-based personal law, and I am interested in the ways in which gender and family relationships shape citizenship and people's interaction with the state in South Asia.


Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Aakriti Mandhwani, Everyday Reading: Popular magazines and Book publishing in Post Independence India
  • Anisha Thomas, Questions of Consent and Coercion: Understanding Sexual Assault Trials in India
  • Jennifer Bond, Nationalism, Christianity and Feminism: Missionary Education for Girls in East China, 1923-1949
  • Naina Manjrekar, Discontent and Decolonisation after World War II: The Case of the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny


Authored Books

Newbigin, Eleanor (2013) The Hindu family and the emergence of modern India: law, citizenship and community. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society)

Edited Books or Journal Volumes

Newbigin, Eleanor and Shani, Ornit and Legg, Stephen, eds. (2016) Constitutionalism and the evolution of democracy in India - special section in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. (Forthcoming)

Book Chapters

Newbigin, Eleanor (2017) 'Public finance and personal law in late-colonial India.' In: Iterations of Law: Legal Histories from India. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Forthcoming)


Newbigin, Eleanor (2011) 'Personal law and citizenship in India’s transition to independence.' Modern Asian Studies, 45 (01). pp. 7-32.

Newbigin, Eleanor (2010) 'A postcolonial patriarchy? Representing family in the Indian nation-state.' Modern Asian Studies, 44 (01). pp. 121-144.

Newbigin, Eleanor (2009) 'The codification of personal law and secular citizenship: revisiting the history of law reform in late colonial India.' Indian Economic and Social History Review, 46 (1). pp. 83-104.

Newbigin, Eleanor and Denault, Leigh and De, Rohit (2009) 'Personal law, identity politics and civil society in colonial South Asia.' Indian Economic and Social History Review, 46 (1). pp. 1-4.

This list was generated on Fri Jul 21 03:15:08 2017 BST.