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In the news: Kris Manjapra

In the news: Kris Manjapra
Kris Manjapra. PHOTO: Alonso Nichols

Kris Manjapra, an associate professor of history, has been appointed the director of the newly established Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism and Diaspora at Tufts — an interdisciplinary department organized around the historic and contemporary study of colonialism and race in shaping societies and cultures in the United States and the world.

Manjapra joined Tufts History Department in 2008. He studies global, transnational, and comparative history, and his fields of expertise include modern South Asia, modern Germany and the modern Caribbean. His work has focused on intellectual and social histories of the Global South and adopts postcolonial and critical perspectives on the study of race, colonialism, diaspora and capitalism. Manjapra’s most recent book is Age of Entanglement: German and Indian Intellectuals Across Empire. It explores the tangled cultural politics of Indian and German thinkers during the long nineteenth century, in the age of British world hegemony. This book, like his other previous work, deals in themes of anti-colonial cosmopolitanism, trajectories of Marxism, formations of artistic and philosophical modernism, Orientalism and Occidentalism.

Manjapra’s new research focuses on global plantation histories that connect the Caribbean Sea and the Indian Ocean in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Along with colleagues, he is completing a large oral history project on Bengali and Bangladeshi intellectuals in the age of decolonization, and beginning a new oral history project on Caribbean intellectuals and decolonization.

Manjapra has served as the director of the department’s predecessor — the Consortium of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora — and the director of Colonialism Studies at Tufts. The RCD Department was formally established by vote of the Board of Trustees in November 2018, with an official launch date of July 1, 2019. This followed months of deliberation and planning that involved faculty leaders and a large group of students from the RCD Consortium, as well as input from deans, the Office of the Provost and the Office of the President.

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