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Department of History
Sanchari Dutta
Associate Professor,
Department of History,
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Education Details
DPhil, University of Oxford, 2008
M.Phil., University of Oxford, 2003
BA, University College, University of Oxford, 2001
BA, St. Stephens College, University of Delhi, 1999
Professional Experience
Associate Professor, Shiv Nadar University, 2012 - present
Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, University of Oxford, 2009 - 2011
Post Doctoral Researcher, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 2008 - 2009
Research Interests
History of Medicine, Disease and Sanitation
Global Health and Disease
Histories of Incarceration; Comparative Histories of Law, Crime and Prisons
Urban Studies
British Imperial Expansion and Modern South Asia
Select Publications

Pathologies of Confinement: Medicine, Disease and Discipline in the Prisons of India, 1830 - 1940s (forthcoming with Manchester University Press: ‘’ series)

Book Chapters

“Redemption through Labour’: Industrial Training and Labour Policies for Indian Prisons, 1830- - 1910s’, paper solicited for an anthology on Labour History in India (title still to be assigned) to be edited by Subho Basu (London, New York: Routledge, forthcoming)

‘Plague, Quarantine and Empire: British Indian Sanitary Strategies in Central Asia, 1897 - 1907,’ in Mark Harrison and Biswamoy Pati eds., Society, Medicine and Politics: Colonial India, 1850 - 1940s (London; New York: Routledge, 2008): 78-92
National and International Recognition
Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, University of Oxford, 2009 - 2011
Member of Congregation, University of Oxford, 2009 - 2011
Graduate Studentship, Beit Fund, University of Oxford, 2006 - 2007
Research Grant, Wellcome Trust, UK, 2004 - 2006
Curzon Prize for Best Essay in History, University of Oxford, 2005
Overseas Research Grant, Beit Fund, University of Oxford, 2004, 2005
Graduate Research Grant, Royal Historical Society, UK, 2004
Overseas Research Scheme Award, UK, 2001 - 2004
British Chevening and Radhakrishnan Scholarship, UK, 1999 - 2001
Percival Spear Prize, St Stephens College, Delhi University, 1999
Executive Summary
Sanchari Dutta is Associate Professor of History at SNU. She is a historian of public health and social policy, with a particular focus on modern South Asia. Sanchari’s writing adopts a cross-disciplinary approach, engaging aspects in law, medical sociology and social history. Her book Pathologies of Confinement: Disease, Discipline and Medicine in the Prisons of Colonial India, 1830s-1940s is a history of prisons, crime and policing in colonial South Asia, with a grounding in the history of medicine. The research relates practices within prisons to parallel initiatives in public health, industry, the military, food security and poverty analysis, to place the historical development of the prison system within a broader discussion of the nature and impact of colonial expansion in South Asia. It is also the only study of its kind that studies incarceration from the perspective of inmates. Pathologies of Confinement is forthcoming with Manchester University Press, in its flagship ‘’ series.

Sanchari graduated with a first class degree in History from St. Stephens College, Delhi University where she was a recipient of the Percival Spear Prize. She won a British Chevening Scholarship to read for a BA in Modern History from University College, Oxford. She continued at the University of Oxford for her graduate studies, specialising in the History of Medicine under the supervision of Professor Mark Harrison. Sanchari was awarded a M.Phil. in Economic & Social History from Oxford in 2003 and a DPhil in History from the same institution in 2008, for her dissertation on the history of prisons in colonial India. Sanchari is a recipient of the Curzon Memorial Prize for Indian History at Oxford, and her research has been supported by the Overseas Research Scheme (UK), the Beit Fund of Oxford University, the Royal Historical Society (UK) and the Wellcome Trust (UK).

Sanchari’s post-doctoral research has embraced new themes, sources and archives. Following a brief spell at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (where she joined an AHRB project on Crime in South East Asia) Sanchari returned to Oxford in October 2009, to work on the history of infectious disease, in the context of modern communications, commerce and British imperial expansion. During this time, she was Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine and a Member of Congregation at the University of Oxford. At SOAS, her research extended to British Burma and at Oxford her work spanned the western rim of the Indian Ocean. More recently, her interests have shifted towards the study of nutrition, environment and urban studies. Sanchari returned to India in 2012 to take up her present position at SNU and she is excited by the opportunities to combine her role as a historian of medicine with research on global health issues bearing a contemporary urban focus. Sanchari is happy to supervise students on any area relating to her core expertise in the history of medicine and global health, urban history, comparative histories of crime and prisons, and modern South Asia, more generally.
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