Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

Amitava Chowdhury

chowdury.jpgAssociate Professor and
Undergraduate Chair

Global History; Diaspora Theory; British Caribbean; British Colonial History 19th-20th centuries; Indian Ocean World; South Asian Diaspora; Atlantic History; Archaeology of Slavery and Plantation Labour

 

Contact

Office: Watson Hall 303
E-mail: a.chowdhury@queensu.ca
Phone: 613-533-6000, ext: 74368
Fax: 613-533-6298
Twitter: @amitava8

 

Education

Ph.D., Washington State University
M.A., Deccan College Research Institute
B.A., Jadavpur University


About

Amitava Chowdhury is a historian and historical archaeologist of agrarian labour regimes and colonial plantations in the British Caribbean and the Indian Ocean and is interested in the meaning and theory of Global History and diaspora theories. He is particularly interested in issues of identity, nationalism, and diaspora formations of the Indians overseas. Previously, between 2001-2004, Dr. Chowdhury worked on historical archaeology of colonial Mauritius, and two of his excavated sites, Aapravasi Ghat and Le Morne Brabant, were subsequently inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. He has also published several works on the history and archaeology of fugitive slaves in Mauritius and the Caribbean. He is a former Fellow of the Weatherhead Initiative in Global History at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University.

Dr. Chowdhury is a co-convener of the Global History Initiative at Queen’s University.

Graduate Supervision

Non-Hispanic Colonial Caribbean (18th-20th centuries); Indian Ocean; British Colonial History (19th-20th centuries); South Asian Diasporas; Global, World, and Transnational History.

Courses

Undergraduate

HIST 122: The Making of the Modern World (first-year lecture)
HIST 205: The Atlantic World (second-year lecture)
HIST 303: History of the Caribbean in a Global Perspective (yearlong core seminar)
HIST 435: Global History (upper-level seminar)
HIST 404: Themes in Diaspora History (upper-level seminar)
TIH - Nations and Nationalism in Global History (upper-level yearlong seminar)
TiH - Anthropocene and the Future of History (upper-level seminar)

Graduate

HIST 804: The Atlantic World (seminar)
HIST 825: Global, World, and Transnational History (seminar)

Publications

Books:

2016. Between Dispersion and Belonging: Global Approaches to Diaspora in Practice (edited with Donald H. Akenson). McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016.

  • Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award, 2017. 

2003. Aapravasi Ghat: Past and Present: Archaeological Investigations. Port Louis, Mauritius: Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund. ISBN: 9990373108.

Becoming Indian: Indentured Labor and Identity in the British Empire (completed manuscript, forthcoming).

 

Editor of Journal Special Issue:

Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, volume 38, issue 76. Autumn 2014.

Chapters and Articles:

2019. “Inequality and the Future of Global History: A Round Table Discussion.” Journal of Indian Ocean World Studies 3 (2019): 53-81. (with Julia McClure, Sarah Easterby-Smith, Norberto Ferreras, Omar Gueye, Meha Priyadarshini, Steven Serels, and Jelmer Vos). 

2016.“Between Dispersion and Belonging: At Home in the Diaspora.” In Between Dispersion and Belonging: Global Approaches to Diaspora in Practice edited by Amitava Chowdhury and Donald H. Akenson. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016.

2016.“The Diaspora Symptom: Global Projection of Local Identities.” In Between Dispersion and Belonging: Global Approaches to Diaspora in Practice edited by Amitava Chowdhury and Donald H. Akenson. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016.

2016. “Narratives of Home: Diaspora Formations Among the Indian Indentured Labourers.” In Between Dispersion and Belonging: Global Approaches to Diaspora in Practice edited by Amitava Chowdhury and Donald H. Akenson. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016.

2016.“Diaspora as Global History.” In Between Dispersion and Belonging: Global Approaches to Diaspora in Practice edited by Amitava Chowdhury and Donald H. Akenson. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016.

2016.“Maritime Marronage and Trans-imperial Diplomatic Consequences of the British Emancipation, 1834-1848.” In “Abolitions” as A Global Experience edited by Hideaki Suzuki, pp. 149-160. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2015.

2014. “Maroon Archaeological Research in Mauritius and its Possible Implications in a Global Context.” In Lydia Wilson Marshall, ed. The Archaeology of Slavery: Toward a Comparative Global Framework. (CAI, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, 2014).

2014. “Le petit marronnage comme processus d'adaptation épisodique dans l'île Maurice : les données relevées sur le terrain et leur pertinence globale.” In Archéologie de l’esclavage colonial edited by André Delpuech and Jean-Paul Jacob, 261-273. Paris: Éditions La Découverte, Paris, 2014.

2012. “Exploring an “old verbal ambiguity”: East Indian ethnicity and identity in Trinidad and the British Caribbean.” Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 37, no. 73 (Spring 2012): 209-220.

2007. “Marronage in Mauritius and its possible implications for Caribbean Archaeology.” Proceedings of the Twenty-first congress of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology, Volume 2, pp. 567-572. (with Candice Goucher)

2006. “The symbolic and archaeological significance of Le Morne Brabant: A fugitive slave site of Mauritius.” Journal of Indian Ocean Archaeology 3: 50-61.

2005. “Handedness: The archaeological record.” Man and Environment 30 (2): 90-96. (with Manas K. Mandal)

2003. “Towards an Archaeological Heritage Management of Aapravasi Ghat.” Journal of Mauritian Studies, New Series Vol. 2 (1): 87-104. 2003. “Theoretical Reflections on Maroon Archaeology in Mauritius.” Revi Kiltir Kreol. Vol. 3: 55-59.

2003. “Theoretical Reflections on Maroon Archaeology in Mauritius.” Revi Kiltir Kreol. Vol. 3: 55-59.

Short Articles and Occasional Writing

2020. "Looking Back and Forward—Developments, Challenges, and Visions for the Future of Global History” , Toynbee Prize Foundation - https://toynbeeprize.org/posts/ghi-conference/  

2016.“British Indian Ocean Empire,” in John MacKenzie ed. Encyclopedia of Empire, pp. 315-321. Wiley Blackwell.

2013.“Looking Back and Moving Forward—Reflections on Latin American and Caribbean Studies—Jamaica as the prototypical transnational space: Conversations with Orlando Patterson and Birte Timm.” Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 38, no. 2 (fall 2013): 325-336.

2008. 'Indentured labor' in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, Volume 3, 93-95.

2008. 'Coolie Trade' in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, Volume 2, 339-341.

2008. 'Diasporas: An overview' in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, Volume 2, 510-13.

2008. 'Slavery: Antislavery in Britain' in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, Volume 7, 23-25

2008. 'Slave Trade: Abolition in Britain' in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, Volume 7, 35-37.

2007. 'Marronage in Mauritius' in Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion, Edited by Junius P. Rodriguez. Volume I, pp. 313-315. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.

Research groups and workshops organized

2020.   Global Histories of Colonialism, Queen’s University, Global History Initiative, November 2020.

2019.   Violence in a Connecting World, Queen’s University, Global History Initiative, March 2019. 

2017.   Global History Initiative, Queen’s University, Inaugural Conference, April 2017.

2013.   Queen's University Initiative on Diaspora Studies. Inaugural Workshop, September 2013.

2013.   Canadian Caribbean Studies Research Group. Inaugural Workshop, March 2013.

2011.   Queen's University Symposium on Oceanic History, March 2011.