Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

Sanober Umar

Ph.D. Candidate

Global Histories of Racialization and Caste| Muslim Women and Gender Politics| Subaltern Studies and Critical Race Theory| Memory, Space and Minority Identity Politics| Hindu Nationalism| Human Rights and the “Secular” Liberal Democratic State| Borders and Citizenship Discourses in Post-Colonial South Asia| Global Islamophobia | Global Hindu Nationalist Diaspora Politics| Urban Histories of Segregation



MSc Migration Studies ( International Development and Social Anthropology), University of Oxford, UK
M.A/MIS in International History and Politics, The Graduate Institute of International Studies and Development (IHEID), Geneva, Switzerland.
B.A (Hons) History, St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, India.


I am presently a PhD candidate and a recipient of the Ontario Trillium Scholarship. My dissertation engages with Global History conversations between Critical Race Theory and Subaltern Studies. Specifically, my dissertation looks at the historical processes through which India’s Muslims were rendered casteless, and the gendered racialization of minority citizens that lay at the heart of that construction between 1947-1993.  Old Lucknow “mohallas” or ghettoes are an important site through which oral, archival, institutional and other documented histories of violence, peace, the sacred and the mundane are studied. The scope of this work is further expanded by tying it to narratives of (i) Global Islamophobia, (ii) model minority aspirations of long-distance Hindu Nationalists in the diaspora, (iii) the intertwined yet distinct transnational conceptions of race, caste and (religious) minoritysm. I have presented my research and other works at various academic forums including in UC Berkeley, University of Oxford, UChicago, University of Wisconsin Madison South Asia Conference, Critical Ethnic Studies Annual Conference, National Women’s Studies Association, and International Studies Association. I have also been invited to give public/seminar lectures sponsored by Queen’s University, York University and University of Toronto at Noor Cultural Center, and at the Department of Religion Studies for St Mary’s University, Halifax.  

Peer Reviewed Academic and Research Publications

•    Fall 2020 - “Mass Violence and the Self Silencing Subaltern under Political Trauma,” Routledge Memory and Narrative Series, ed. Dr. Anna Sheftel, (Forthcoming).
•    Fall 2019 - “The Enemy Property Act of 1968: Creating the ‘Citizen-Enemy’,” The Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, London: UK, (Forthcoming).
•    Sept 2014 - “Birds of a Feather Flock Together: The Requiem for Secularism in the Indian Parliament,” The Journal of Indian Secularism, Mumbai: India, Vol 18, Issue No. 2, pp. 5-14
•    March 2013 - “Crushed Hopes: Underemployment and Deskilling among Skilled Migrant Women,” International Organization of Migration, Geneva: Switzerland, Chapter 1:11-36. (Co-author: Blandine Mollard).

Select Public Facing Publications

•    December 2017 – “Beyond Whiteness: Rethinking Aryan Nationalisms in Multicultural Canada” in Active History.
•    January 2017 – “Triumphing Beyond Trump: Towards a Critical Political Understanding of Racialization and Kyriarchy” in Warscapes.
•    November 2016 – “Indian Muslim Women: Caught Between Misogynists and Hypocrites” in (1) Kafila and (2) Critical Theory Research Network.
•    September 2014 – “Gender and Love Jihad’ in Hard News. Co-author: Bhoomika Joshi.
•    July 2014 - Early Draft Researcher for “Providing Protection: Access for Early Legal Advice for Asylum Seekers,” EPIM, COMPAS, Irish Refugee Council, Asylum Aid UK, Immigouste Keskes collective publication.
•    January 2014 – “The Politics of Apoliticizing Gender in India” in Oxford India Policy Blog. Co-author: Bhoomika Joshi.