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Grad Students

Aadarsh Chunkath

Contact Information

Email    aadarshchunkath@g.ucla.edu
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I am a historian of South Asia and my research interests broadly encompass the modern period particularly the late colonial state and society, and the anticolonial movement. Specifically, my current research focuses on the intersection of disease, sanitation, and surveillance under the British colonial administration. My larger research project is on the rise of social reform movements and the emergence of radical politics in the south Indian state of Kerala which witnessed a period of cultural efflorescence in the early 20th century. Previously, I worked in Kerala documenting its artistic heritage, and I was part of the three-member team whose efforts led to the UNESCO inscribing Mudiyettu, the traditional theatre of Kerala, in its prestigious List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

       I am keen on utilizing the tools of global and transnational history in studying modern and contemporary South Asia. The application of history to policy-making and the challenges of writing the history of the present are topics I will be taking up in my work. More broadly, I have a strong interest in the history of democracy, capitalism, Marxism and Left movements, Indian Ocean history, Gandhi’s life and work, performative art, documentary cinema, and world literature.  

Field of Study

South and Southeast Asia

Grants and Awards

The St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award, Switzerland. 

Junior Research Fellowship, Government of India

Exchange scholar, Soka University, Japan

The Near East and South Asia Undergraduate Exchange Programme (NESA UGRAD) of the U.S. Department of State

Conference Presentations

Presented a paper on Mudiyettu, the traditional drance-drama of Kerala, at the bi-national workshop on ‘Body, Space & Performance: Theory and Praxis’ at the School of Historical Studies, Nalanda University, Bihar, India, 2018. 


Professor Vinay Lal


M.A., (with distinction) University of Göttingen

M.A., Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

B.A. (Hons.), St. Stephen's College, Delhi University