Dr Taylor C. Sherman

Dr Taylor C. Sherman

Associate Professor

Department of International History

+44 (0)20 7955 5002
Room No
Office Hours
On Zoom: Wednesday, 7-8pm and Friday, 2-3pm - by Student Hub appointment
English, Hindi, Urdu
Key Expertise
Modern South Asian History

About me

Dr Taylor Sherman's research concerns the cultural and political history of India in the transition from colonial rule to independence in the middle decades of the twentieth century. Her research explores conceptions of citizenship, belonging and the idea of the minority in Indian politics; Arab and Afghan migration to and from India; early postcolonial democracy and the first elections; language politics, multilingualism and the creation of linguistic states; and violence and criminal justice in South Asia.

Dr Sherman returned to LSE in 2010. She studied International Relations and History at the LSE for her undergraduate degree, and then completed her doctoral work, entitled, 'The Politics of Punishment and State Violence in India', at Cambridge University. In 2004 she was awarded a Harry Frank Guggenheim Dissertation Fellowship for this research. She began her academic career teaching Extra-European History at Cambridge, and before moving to LSE, she held a post as AHRC Research Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London, on a collaborative research project entitled, 'From Subjects to Citizens: Society and the Everyday State in India and Pakistan, 1947-64'.

Other titles: Deputy Head of Department

Expertise Details

Modern South Asian History

Teaching & supervision

Dr Sherman usually teaches the following courses in the Department:

At undergraduate level:

HY113: From Empire to Independence: the Extra-European World in the Twentieth Century (taught jointly with other members of staff)

HY120: Historical Approaches to the Modern World (taught jointly with other members of staff)

HY329: Independent India: Myths of Freedom and Development

At Master's level:

HY423: Empire, Colonialism and Globalisation (taught jointly with other members of staff)

 Watch Dr Sherman talk about HY329, how it is structured and how students can benefit from taking it in order to better understand the world we live in today.

Dr Sherman also supervises the following PhD students:

 Research student Provisional thesis title
Medha Bhattachrya An Examination of the Hindi and Bengali Movements in South Asia (1930-1971)
 Thomas Wilkinson  Youth in Colonial and Post-colonial Northern India 1885-1957





Article and special issues


News & media


"Not Part of the Plan? Women, State Feminism and Indian Socialism in the Nehru Years"

In her latest article for South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Dr Sherman argues that in the Central Social Welfare Board, state feminism was concerned with the gradual transformation of women and a radical, if short-lived, makeover of the state. Read the article here


Book review

Read Dr Sherman's book review in The Spectator (15 June) on Malevolent Republic: A Short History of the New India by K.S. Komireddi. After tearing through the Congress era, Komireddi levels his sights on Modi & the Bharatiya Janata Party.


New article in Postocolonial Studies

Dr Sherman has released a new article in Postcolonial Studies, entitled “’A New Type of Revolution’: Socialist Thought in India, 1940s-1960s”. Although it is often said that early postcolonial India was socialist, scholars have tended to take this term for granted. This article investigates how Indians defined socialism in the two decades after independence. Understanding how Indians defined their version of socialism, Dr Sherman argues, will help scholars re-evaluate the role of the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in defining the goals India pursued after independence. It will also re-orient our understanding of the expectations and limitations of the Indian state in this crucial period in Indian history. LSE users can access the article for free.


New article on education in early postocolonial India

Dr Sherman published a new article in the journal History of Education, entitled “Education in Early Postcolonial India: Expansion, Experimentation and Planned Self-Help” (47:4). The article provides an overview of education policy in the first two decades after 1947 and finds that, contrary to what the constituion promised, Indian planning did not monopolise control over education. Rather, India’s socialism was a socialism of scarcity, which relied on self-help efforts by the people to build the institutions of the welfare state, entrenching existing inequalities.


New book, Muslim Belonging in Secular India

Dr Taylor C. Sherman has a new book coming out in September, called Muslim Belonging in Secular India: Negotiating Citizenship in Postcolonial Hyderabad (Cambridge University Press). Dr Sherman's book surveys the experience of some of India's most prominent Muslim communities in the early postcolonial period. Muslims who remained in India after the Partition of 1947 faced distrust and discrimination, and were consequently compelled to seek new ways of defining their relationship with fellow citizens of India and its governments. Using the forcible integration of the princely state of Hyderabad in 1948 as a case study, Taylor C. Sherman reveals the fragile and contested nature of Muslim belonging in the decade that followed independence. In this context, she demonstrates how Muslim claims to citizenship in Hyderabad contributed to intense debates over the nature of democracy and secularism in independent India. Drawing on detailed new archival research, Dr Sherman provides a thorough and compelling examination of the early governmental policies and popular strategies that have helped to shape the history of Muslims in India since 1947. Read more about it here.