Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Ravinder Kaur

Ravinder Kaur

Head of Centre

Ravinder Kaur is Associate Professor of Modern South Asian Studies and she also directs the Centre of Global South Asian Studies. She holds a Visiting Professorship at the Centre of India Studies in Africa, Witswatersrand University, Johannesburg.

She is currently engaged in two long-term research projects. The first focuses on post-reform India’s transition into an attractive ‘emerging market’ in the global political economy, and second, explores the yet unfolding connections between Asia and Africa via a study of new business connections between India, China and Ghana. Her previous research focused on the questions of forced migration, refugee resettlement, social class and caste and the making of modern citizenship during India’s Partition in 1947.

Her publications include Since 1947: Partition Narratives among Punjabi Migrants of Delhi (Oxford, 2007), editor of Religion, Violence and Political Mobilization in South Asia (Sage, 2005), and co-editor of ‘Governing Difference: Identity, Inequity and Inequality in India and China’, Special Issue, Third World Quarterly (2012). Her most recent publication includes two co-edited special issues of Identities entitled ‘Aesthetics of Arrival: Spectacle, Capital and Novelty in post-reform India’  (2016), and Contemporary South Asia entitled 'Social Mobility in post-reform India' (2016)

Kaur works across the disciplines of history, anthropology and international politics. She is the Primary Investigator of two major projects ‘Nation in Motion: Globalization, Governance and Development in New India’ (2010-2015) and ‘Emerging Worlds: Explorations of New South-South Connections’ (2014-2018). 

Emerging Worlds Project webiste

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Selected Publications

'Snakes and Ladders: Rethinking Social Mobility in post-reform India', Contemporary South Asia (with Nandini Sundar, 2016)

'Aesthetics of Arrival: Spectacle, Capital and Novelty in post-reform India', Identities: Global Studies in Power and Culture  (with Thomas Blom Hansen, 2016) 

'Post-exotic India: Remixed Histories and Smart Images', Identities: Global Studies in Power and Culture  (2016)

Writing History in a Paperless World: Archives of the Future, History Workshop Journal, Spring 2015, Volume 79, Number 1, 242-253

Governing Difference: Inequality, Inequity and Identity in India and China', Special Issue,   Third World Quarterly, Volume 33, Issue 4. 2012. (co-editor Ayo Wahlberg)

Nation’s Two Bodies: Rethinking the idea of ‘new’ India and its Other', Third World Quarterly, 33(4) May 2012, pp 603-621

'Distinctive Citizenship: Refugees, Subjects and Postcolonial State in India’s Partition', Cultural and Social History, Volume 6, Number 4, 429-446. 2009.

'Narrative Absence: An ‘Untouchable Account’ of Partition Migration', Contributions to Indian Sociology, Volume 42, Number 2, 281-306. 2008.

'Since 1947: Partition Narratives among Punjabi Migrants of Delhi', Oxford University Press, 2007.

'Religion, Violence and Political Mobilisation in Contemporary South Asia, Sage Publications, 2005' 

Read Reviews (selected)

Review by Mushirul Hassan, Outlook India

Review by Urvashi Butalia, Financial Express

Review by Ian Talbot, H-Net Asia

Review by Michael Hawley, Journal of Asian Studies

Review by Satish Saberwal, Contributions to Indian Sociology

Review by Antony Copley, Journal of Royal Asiatic Society

Review by Suparna Banerjee Refugee Watch

Review by Shalini Sharma, Journal of Punjab Studies

Review by Tahir Kamran, Journal of Punjab Studies

Review by Katja Rikkonen, Journal of South Asian Development

Review by Harsh Mander, Seminar

Review Asian Affairs

Review by Jennifer Hyndman

Primary fields of research

I am interested in the themes of postcolonial state formations, modern identity making, imagery, visual representations and the histiories of the event and the ordinary. I am currently working on the idea of 'global' India and the new cultural histories of the nation.

My previous projects were located in post-Partition Delhi and post-revolution Tehran. While I explored the making of postcolonial citizenship, memory, identity among Punjabi refugees vis-a-vis the state's resettlement programmes in Delhi, I focused extensively on the Shia tradition of 'martyrdom' as a governmental practice, and its new forms of internalization within the the modern Iranian state

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