Ms Rishika Yadav

Ms Rishika Yadav

PhD Student

Department of International History

Connect with me

English, Hindi
Key Expertise
South African History; Imperial History; World Wars; Military History

About me

Rishika Yadav is a doctoral candidate at the department who is currently working on reconstructing the experiences of ‘Coloured’, Indian and Malay soldiers from South Africa who participated in the Second World War. Her research is supervised by Dr Joanna Lewis. Her project builds on her Masters’ dissertation (also under Dr Lewis), ‘An Account of South Africa’s non-White Troops in World War I: The impact of racial prejudice and Imperial policy, 1914-1919’ which aimed to challenge the Imperialist trajectory of war memory. She achieved her Bachelor’s degree at Sri Venkateswara College (University of Delhi) with honours in History in 2015. Following this, she pursued her post-graduate studies at LSE at the Department of International History and was awarded a MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation.

In 2016 she interned at UNESCO MGIEP in their Learning Differences program. She was also the Publication Assistant for The Blue Dot, MGIEP’s bi-annual magazine. Following this she interned at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, the Ministry of External Affairs’ arm of cultural diplomacy for promotion of India’s soft power. In 2017, Rishika began working at the Centre for Civil Society, a Delhi-based think tank that focuses on education and livelihood in low-income communities. From 2016 on she has also worked as a part-time Editorial Assistant to Prof K C Yadav, retired Professor of history, for his research projects on India in the First World War, and the trial of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar.

Rishika was co-convener of the HY509 PhD and early career research seminar in 2019/20 and co-editor of the department's blog, LSE International History blog, from September 2019 to September 2020.

Since 2021, she has been a Book Review Editor for the Journal of African Military History.

Provisional thesis title

For King and Empire: South Africa’s Coloured, Indian and Malay soldiers and the Second World War, 1940-49

The objective of my project is to reconstruct the histories of ‘Coloured’ (‘mixed-race’), Indian, and Malay soldiers from the Union of South Africa who participated in the Second World War. My dissertation seeks to analyse the impact of the Empire and the South African Union’s racial policies and politics on the service of these units, the ‘lived experiences’ of soldiers in these units, treatment of soldiers post-war, impact of their service on their communities, and commemoration of their service. This thesis is a contribution to not only the larger narrative of the Second World War, but also adds to the research on South Africa’s participation in the war, and to the discussion on the nuances of racism that impacted the identity of the Coloured, Indian, and Malay communities in the Union.

Expertise Details

South African History; Imperial History; World Wars; Military History


Scholarships and awards

  • LSE PhD Studentship 2018-2022
  • Iris Forester Prize for Academic Excellence, Department of International History, LSE, 2016

News and media


LSE International History Blog

The Second Last Sunday Every September: Remembering South Africa’s Fallen Soldiers, published on 25 November 2019

In this article, Rishika elaborates on her experience at a memorial service for the Cape Corps, which she attended while on a trip to South Africa and contemplates on the space of non-White soldiers in First and Second World War remembrance ceremonies.


Africa at LSE Blog

South Africa Remembers Robert Mugabe, published on 26 September 2019

In this article, Rishika explores the impact of the liberator-turned-despot Robert Mugabe’s legacy on South African politics and examines the lessons South Africa must learn from Zimbabwe.


Panellist for the screening of ‘Forgotten Heroes of Empire’ by Jack Losh and Alessandro Pavone, and produced by Al Jazeera

The documentary highlights the discrimination faced by African veterans of the British Imperial forces that participated in the Second World War. Rishika was invited as a speaker for the Q&A panel for the screening. The event was held at the Frontline Club (London) on 5th April 2019 and was chaired by Christina Lamb. Available on podcast.


Between 2017-18, Rishika regularly contributed to the Centre for Civil Society’s digital publication, Spontaneous Order. Most notably,

In this article Rishika explores the obstacles faced by government agencies employed in the preservation of India’s archaeological and cultural heritage and emphasises on the need for privatisation of conservation. The article was re-printed in Qrius.

  • The Life and Times of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, published 28 February 2018

In this two-part series titled, Chutney on a Leaf and Movement Towards Swatantra, Rishika recounts the life and times of Rajaji, a prominent independence activist, who, in his political career, served as the first Premier of the Madras Presidency, and the first and last Governor General of independent India.

In this article, Rishika critiques the Transparency of Rights Act proposed in the Government of India’s Economic Survey 2016-17 and argues that the act is a mutation on existing legislations and, in fact, prevents Civil Society from effectively participating in ‘good governance’.