Staff – University of Copenhagen

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 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 trade connections. 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, 2018), 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’ (2014-2019). 

Emerging Worlds Project webiste

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Selected Publications


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

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

Special Issues

Social Mobility in post-reform India, Special Issue, Contemporary South Asia, Volume 24, Issue 3 (Co-editor: Nandini Sundar, September 2016)

 Aesthetics of Arrival: Spectacle, Capital, Novelty in India, Special issue, Identities: Global Studies in Power and Culture, Volume 23, Number 3 (co-editor: Thomas Blom Hansen, 2016)

'Governing Difference: Inequality, Inequity and Identity in India and China', Third World Quarterly, Volume 33, Number 4, Spring 2012. (Co-editor: Ayo Wahlberg) Also republished in the Third World Series, Routledge, 2016

Journal Articles

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

'Snakes and Ladders: Rethinking Social Mobility in post-reform India', Contemporary South Asia, 2016, Volume 24 (3): 229-241 (with Nandini Sundar)

'Aesthetics of Arrival: Spectacle, Capital and Novelty in post-reform India', Identities: Global Studies in Power and Culture, 2016, Volume 23(3): 265-275  (with Thomas Blom Hansen) 

'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

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.

Reviews of "Since 1947" (selected)

Mushirul Hassan, Outlook India; Urvashi Butalia, Financial Express; Ian Talbot, H-Net Asia; Michael Hawley, Journal of Asian Studies; Satish Saberwal, Contributions to Indian Sociology; Antony Copley, Journal of Royal Asiatic Society; Suparna Banerjee Refugee Watch; Shalini Sharma, Journal of Punjab Studies; Tahir Kamran, Journal of Punjab Studies; Katja Rikkonen, Journal of South Asian Development; Harsh Mander, Seminar;  Asian AffairsJennifer Hyndman


Core Courses

  • Videnskabsteori (Asia)
  • 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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