Ravinder Kaur

Ravinder Kaur


Ravinder Kaur, Associate Professor of Modern South Asian Studies directs the Asian Dynamics Initiative, a cross-faculty program at the University of Copenhagen.

Kaur works across the disciplines of history, anthropology, and international politics. Her long-term research has focused on two critical transformations in the history of modern India.

Her most recent work delves into the transformation of postcolonial India into an 'attractive investment destination’ in the global economy. The study examines an old question - what is a nation together with the 21st-century speculative phenomenon of the rise of India and the BRICS nations as economic powerhouses in the global south. This work has been turned into a second monograph called "Brand New Nation" (Stanford University Press, 2020 - see virtual book discussion here).

Her previous research focused on India's mid-20th century transformation into a postcolonial nation-state. At the heart of this enquiry are the questions of memory and migration, caste/class differences, refugee resettlement policies in the making of modern citizenship after the 1947 Partition. This work has been published as a monograph entitled "Since 1947: Partition Narratives among the Punjabi Migrants of Delhi" (Oxford University Press 2007, 2018) as well as several journal articles. 

She currently holds The Carlsberg Foundation Semper Ardens Monograph Fellowship to examine the histories of "economic miracles" and geo-economic frontiers across Asia and Africa. This ongoing research builds upon two major research programs she has led: ‘Emerging Worlds: Explorations of New South-South Connections’ (2014-2019) and ‘Nation in Motion: Globalization, Governance and Development in New India’ (2010-2015).

Some of her readings can be accessed here and here 


Brand New Nation: Capitalist Dreams and Nationalist Designs in Twenty-First Century India (Stanford University Press 2020; Harper Collins India 2021)

Since 1947: Partition Narratives among Punjabi Migrants of Delhi', Oxford University Press, 2007 (new edition 2018)

Journal Articles (selected)

World as Commodity: Or, How the "Third World" Became an "Emerging Market", Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 2018, Volume 38(2): 377-395

I am India Shining: The Investor Citizen and the Indelible Icon of Good Times, Journal of Asian Studies,  2016, Volume 75 (3): 621-648

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


Core Courses

  • Videnskabsteori
  • Globalilzation and Development in South Asia
  • South Asian Societies
  • Introduction to India and South Asia

PhD Supervision

  • I welcome PhD supervision in broad areas of contemporary history, politics, and anthropology of South Asia. Specifically, my area of expertise relates to the making of the postcolonial State, nation and nationalism; visual politics, histories of the Third World, emerging markets, refugee resettlement, Partition memory and citizenship.    

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