Dr Anwesha  Roy

Dr Anwesha Roy

Guest Teacher

Department of International History

Room No
Office Hours
On Zoom: Friday, 11am to 12pm - by appointment
Bengali, English, Hindi
Key Expertise
Social and Political History of South Asia

About me

I completed my doctorate from Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2016. My doctoral dissertation was funded by the international SYLFF (Sasakawa Young Leaders’ Fellowship Fund) fellowship from Japan. My research focused on the turbulent decade of the 1940s in colonial Bengal and analysed the interplay of socio-economic and political factors that led to shaping community identities into communal ones, especially how violence and partition in 1940s Bengal were shaped by the wartime breakdown of Bengali society, and how hunger during the Famine of 1943 forced people to rely on communally-divided relief. 

In 2016, I was awarded the prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship and was based at Kings College London from September 2016 to June 2019. My research project studied the complex undercurrents of violence in Gandhian mass movements, with a special focus of the Quit India Movement of 1942. The project also explored the impact of non-Congress and non-Gandhian influences on the movement, such as ‘revolutionary terrorist’ groups owing allegiance to Subhash Bose.

I have a wide range of teaching experience in the U.K. and in India. Between August and December 2015, I worked as a Teaching Assistant at Ashoka University in India, for the world history foundation course titled ‘Trends in History’. In the academic year 2017-2018 at Kings College London, I designed and taught the second-year undergraduate module on South Asia titled ‘Modern South Asia from Mughals to Modi’. This module charted a course through South Asian history, from the early Mughals to contemporary south Asian politics. From September 2019 to June 2020, I was a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of History, SOAS and taught the intermediate undergraduate module ‘Culture and Identity in Modern South Asia 1800-2000 (H234). This specialised module interrogated the changing meanings of identity, and explored intellectual, cultural, social, economic and political change over the period of two hundred years with a view to understanding the historical processes that underpin some of the contemporary debates around identity in South Asia and among South Asians.

Expertise Details

Caste Conflicts; Communalism and Ethnic Violence in South Asia 1900-2017


Dr Anwesha Roy teaches the following course at undergraduate level:

HY113 - From Empire to Independence: The Extra-European World in the Twentieth Century



Making Peace, Making Riots: Communalism and Communal Violence, Bengal 1940-47 (Cambridge University Press, New Delhi, 2018)

Journal Articles

• ‘Anatomy of a Riot: The Great Calcutta Killing, August 1946’, Bengal Past and Present (Journal of the Calcutta Historical Society), Volume 128, Year 2009 (Published in 2011)

• ‘The Second World War and the Prospect of Quit India in Bengal: Perceptions, Rumours and Revolutionary Parties’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies (forthcoming, April 2021, Issue 44/2).

Book Chapters

• ‘Calcutta and its Struggle for Peace: Anti-Communal Resistance, 1946-47’ in Tanika Sarkar and Sekhar Bandyopadhyay (eds.) Calcutta, The Stormy Decades (Social Science Press, New Delhi, 2015)

• ‘A Test of Faith? The Mahatma and his Tryst With Bengal, 1946-47’, in David Hardiman (ed.) Non Violence in Modern Indian History (Orient Black Swan, New Delhi, 2017)