Dr Maria Misra

  • Gender
  • Post-colonialism
  • South Asia

I began my research career with a cultural study of the role of race and identity in the relationship between British and Indian businessmen in late colonial India. I have since written a general history of India from the late nineteenth century to the present, and have published articles on several aspects of the cultural and intellectual development of Indian nationalism throughout the twentieth century. I am currently writing a global history of gender, taking a long historical perspective: I am interested synthesising insights from cultural studies, literary approaches and the social sciences to offer an integrated analysis of how gender has evolved over time and space in the long duree, and of the interconnections between colonial, colonised and post-colonial perspectives in shaping current debates and controversies over the global gender order. 

  • Gender: A Global History

  • Indian Aristocrats, British Imperialists and ‘Conservative Modernization’ after the Great Rebellion

  • The Indian Machiavelli: The Reception of the Arthasastra in India, 1905-2012

  • From Nehruvian Neglect to Bollywood Heroes: Memories of the Raj in Post-War India

  • Sergeant-Major Gandhi: Indian Nationalism and Non-Violent “Martiality”

  • Colonial officers and gentlemen: the British Empire and the globalization of ‘tradition’

  • Vishnu's Crowded Temple: India Since the Great Rebellion

  • Lessons of Empire: Britain and India

  • 'Business culture' and entrepreneurship in British India, 1860-1950

  • Business, Race, and Politics in British India, c.1850-1960

  • More

Current DPhil Students

  • Brant Moscovitch
  • Zahra Shah
  • Taha Mahmood

I would like to hear from potential DPhil students regarding in all aspects of South Asian history (though especially intellectual and cultural history) of the C19 and C20; also topics in global history, especially gender and the history of ideas          

I currently teach:

Prelims: FHS:
Approaches to History

General History XVIII: Global & Imperial, 1750-1914

  History of the British Isles VII, 1924-present
  Further Subject, ‘Postcolonial Historiography: Writing the Indian Nation’
  Special Subject: ‘From Gandhi to the Green Revolution: India, Independence and Modernity’
  Disciplines of History 


In the Media

I wrote and presented a three part TV series of Channel Four in 2001: ‘An Indian Affair

I was the principal academic contributor to the film: ‘Congo: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death’ (Dir. Peter Bate, 2003); and also to the recent documentary film ‘India’s Daughter’ (Dir. Leslie Udwin, 2015)

Link to review of ‘White King’: http://variety.com/2005/film/reviews/white-king-red-rubber-black-death-1200527154/ 

I contributed to numerous TV programmes including BBC’s ‘Question Time’ [1.2.01; 8.11.01; 26.6.03], Channel 4 News, ‘The British Empire in Colour’; I have also been a participant in Radio 4’s series ‘In Our Time’ several times, and was a consultant for Radio 4’s ‘New Elizabethans’ in 2012


I was a judge for the Samuel Johnson non-fiction prize in 2005, and have been on the judging panel for the Terence Reese prize for Imperial and Commonwealth history for several years.

I am a regular reviewer for the Financial Times and Prospect Magazine, and have written for The Times, The Guardian and The Independent