My main areas of research, particularly with a focus on South Asia include Histories of Childhood and Youth, Empires and Colonial Violence, Histories of Education, Curriculum, and Pedagogy, Public and Oral Histories, and Gender and Sexuality. I am also interested in questions of intellectual history to examine networks of knowledge production and circulation, particularly pertaining to texts and pedagogical ideas.
Locating myself in the wider field of social and cultural history, I examine the lives of several subaltern groups defined by markers of social power and status in literature, photography, missionary archives, oral narratives, and popular culture during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For instance, the study of childhood is at once interdisciplinary and located at the interface of various themes - education, medicine, law, and family. In exploring the fashioning and refashioning of children and youth in a historical context, we understand the nature of power in societies along the axes of age/sex. My recent work explores the politics of missionary boarding schools for poor children in colonial South India. Currently, I am also researching the history of women’s cycling in twentieth century India to understand the gendered geographies of urban life and mobility.