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Dr. Devika Shankar
Assistant Professor of History Devika Shankar

 

BA Delhi University; MA, MPhil Jawaharlal Nehru University; PhD Princeton

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Email Address

Office: 10.43

devika@hku.hk

 

Current Research Project | Publications | Course

 

Dr. Devika Shankar is a historian of modern South Asia and the Indian Ocean region. Her research interests primarily lie in the fields of environmental history, economic history and science and technology studies. She received her PhD in History from Princeton University in 2019. She also holds degrees from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi (M.A.; M.Phil.) and the University of Delhi (B.A.).​

 

 

 

Current Research Project

 

Dr. Shankar's current research project focuses on the port of Cochin (now known as Kochi) on the south-west coast of India and examines how growing environmental concerns generated by the port's shifting coastline intersected with visions for its development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In showing how rising environmental instability became a catalyst for an ambitious port development project under colonial rule, this project points to longer and more complex histories of austerity and the impulse to turn disasters into opportunities for development.

 

 

 

Publications

 

Articles

 

"Freedom of the Fish: Water and Property in Colonial India 1860-1890," Past & Present (Forthcoming).

 

"A Slippery Sovereignty: International law and the Development of British Cochin," Comparative Studies in Society and History (Forthcoming).

 

"Contested Lands and Contentious Lines: Land Acquisition for the Railways in late 19th and early 20th century Delhi," Indian Economic and Social History Review vol. 55, no. 4 (December 2018).

 

Book Review

 

Imperial Military Transportation in British Asia, Michael Charney (London: Bloomsbury, 2019) in Journal of British Studies, vol. 59, no. 3 (July 2020).

 

 

 

Teaching Course

 

  • HIST1022 Introduction to Environmental History
  • HIST2181 A Sea of Stuff: Commerce and Colonialism in the Indian Ocean 1500-2000
  • HIST2182 Seascapes and Skylines: Environment and Infrastructure in Asia
  • HIST2188 The Making of Modern South Asia