Associate Professor of History
Modern South Asia and the British Empire
Kavita Datla's research interests include the political, social, and cultural history of modern South Asia. Her forthcoming book, The Language of Secular Islam: Urdu Nationalism and Colonial India (University of Hawai'i Press, January 2013) focuses on negotiations over language, education, and religion in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Hyderabad. She is especially interested in how these negotiations relate to the history of Indian and Pakistani nationalism.
Datla has recently begun research for a new project that considers questions of princely state sovereignty and politics over the course of the colonial period. Beginning with eighteenth-century British negotiations over land that belonged to the state of Hyderabad, this project seeks to understand the evolution of indirect rule as a distinct form of colonial rule.
Datla's work has been published in Modern Asian Studies and has been funded by fellowships from the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) and Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad.
At Mount Holyoke, Datla teaches introductory courses on Modern South Asia and the British Empire, as well as courses on gender, religion and politics, nationalism, and the Indian Ocean World. She is affiliated with the international relations and critical social thought programs, as well as the program in Asian studies.