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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Former Visiting Scholars

Prof. Dr. Anuradha Roy

Dr. Anuradha Roy, Professor, Dept. of History, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

Gastprofessorin Prof. Dr. Anuradha Roy

Prof. Dr. Anuaradha Roy

Works focus on the intellectual and cultural history of modern Bengal. Specializes in the life of the Bengali bhadralok (middle-class literati) and bhadramahila (the women of the bhadralok family). Written in both Bengali and English. Quite a few books on Bengal Marxism, including two in English, both published in 2014 – Bengal Marxism: Early Discourses and Debates and Cultural Communism in Bengal, 1936-1952. Also authored Nationalism as Poetic Discourse in Nineteenth Century Bengal. Edited two big collections of nationalist songs and poems for the literary academies of the province of West Bengal and of India, covering the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries respectively.

Interested also in Gandhian social activism in Bengal. Contemplates a combination of Marx, Gandhi and Tagore for formulating an ideology for a better world.


Prof. Dr. Sudeshna Banerjee

Prof. Dr. Sudeshna Banerjee (Jadavpur University, Kolkata) teaches at the IAAW in the summer term 2015. She is a visiting professor of India Studies and as such occupying the ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) 'Rotating Chair'.

Prof. Dr. Banerjee


After doing her Bachelor of Arts with honours in History from Presidency College, Calcutta, she did her Masters in History at the University of Calcutta. A Commonwealth Scholarship tenable in the UK enabled her to get her PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Sudeshna Banerjee started her teaching career as a guest lecturer in Presidency College, Calcutta, even while she was an UGC Junior Research Fellow. She joined City College, Calcutta, as a full-time lecturer in February 1986. In September that year she joined Jadavpur University as a lecturer. In 1994 she was promoted to the post of senior lecturer by Jadavpur University. Readership was conferred on her in 1999. She became an associate professor with the nomenclature of the post of reader being changed to that of associate professor by an order of the Government of West Bengal. Additionally, she served as the Head of the Department of History, Jadavpur University, from 01.04.2010 to 31.03. 2012.


Prof. Dr. Vandana Joshi

Dr. Vandana Joshi teaches at the IAAW in the summer term 2014 and in the winter term 2014/2015.

Gastwissenschaftlerin Dr. Vandana Joshi

Vandana Joshi


Dr. Vandana Joshi teaches at Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi. She learnt German language, literature and history, Indian history and gender history at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and University of Delhi before coming to Germany as a DAAD fellow in 1995. She obtained her doctorate in 2001 from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Women and Gender (ZIFG), Technical University, Berlin, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Karin Hausen.


Since then she has received several honours and research awards such as the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History, Erasmus Mundus Visiting Fellowship, Charles Wallace India Trust Grant, MPI Geschichte Visiting Fellowship and recently, the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship. Her ongoing research, “Wartime Sexuality: State Policies and Social Practices in Germany and Britain in WWII 1939-45” focuses on unwanted sexual relations between native women and prisoners of war or Black American GIs in World War Two, an embarrassing fact for the two nation-empires and an everyday lived reality for ‘the many' who retained their zest and love of life in an atmosphere of hatred.


Maj. Gen. (retd.) Shaukat Iqbal

Maj. Gen. (retd.) Shaukat Iqbal ist von Mai bis Juni 2015 Gast am Seminar für Südasien-Studien und hält die Vorlesungsreihe: The Tribal Areas of Pakistan and their Role in the Political Situation in the Region.

Maj. Gen. (retd.) Shaukat Iqbal has served in Pakistan Army for 40 Years.

Has experience of fighting War on Terrorism and serving in Kashmir. He has also commanded Division of Nuclear Forces. He is a graduate of Pakistan Staff College, National Defence College and German Fuerungsakademie Hamburg. He was declared as best officer in German Staff College and was awarded Clausewitz Honor and Shorn Horst Prize.

In civil education he is Masters in Strategic Studies, Masters in International Affairs, Masters in Military Sciences and presently a student of PhD in International Affairs. He Served in  diplomatic mission in Germany, Austria, Poland for a long time and has the distinction of travelling to more than 50 countries. He also served in Saudi Arabia and China on military missions for long time. He participated in many workshops and security seminars of West Europe, East Europe, Middle East and Far East.

He is author of two books:

1. The New Great Game and Security Challenges for Pakistan and

2. Turmoil in Muslim World – A moment of soul searching


Soham Das Gupta

Herr Soham Das Gupta ist von Juni bis Oktober 2014 Gast am Seminar für Südsaien-Studien.

Gastwissenschaftler Soham Das Gupta

Soham Das Gupta

He was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-University, Berlin, from June to October 2014. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D in Jadavpur University. His research deals with the  British theories and practices of "small wars" in the North-West Frontier of British India between 1849-1913. The chief focus of the research is the patterns of wars waged by the British colonial masters against the frontier tribes. The engagements between the British colonial masters and tribesmen of the 'volatile frontier' ranged from 'butcher and bolt' expedition to 'winning the hearts and minds'.Moreover, here is an endevour to explore any shift & continuity in waging war in this particular region in recent times. Furthermore, here is an attempt to engage in the onging debate on the “new wars”  by trying to  see  ‘how new are these “new wars”?'

He has completed his M.Phil (in 2012), M.A.(in 2010, First Class) and B.A.(in 2008, First Class) in History from Jadavpur University.


Sayantani Adhikary

Frau Sayantani Adikhary ist von April 2013 bis September 2013 Gast am Seminar für Südsaien-Studien. Sie ist Stipendiatin der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

Sayantani Adhikary

Sayantani Adhikary (D.O.B - 28.08.1980) is currently working as Senior Research Fellow in the Department of History, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. She was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Asian and African Studied, Humboldt University, Berlin, from April 2013 to August 2013. Sayantani completed her Masters in History from Jadavpur University with First class in 2004 and taught as a Guest Lecturer in Asutosh College from 2004 to 2009. She is currently doing her Ph.d on the topic titled “Politics of Physical Culture in Colonial Bengal, 1867-1947” under Dr. Sudeshna Banerjee, Department of History, Jadavpur University.

Her PhD dissertation focuses upon the interface between emerging national consciousness in colonial Bengal in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century and the world of physical culture. The thesis does not miss the coincidence between the bhadralok’s interest in physical culture and the emergence of anti-colonial nationalism. But, while recognizing the connection between the eagerness of the bhadralok nationalism for physical culture as a reaction to the colonial ascription of effeminacy on the middle class educated Bengali male, the thesis also seeks to raise the question as to whether historically this was the only determinant of the bhadralok enthusiasm for physical culture from the end of the nineteenth century. Secondly, the thesis identifies that the world of physical culture was a highly diversified sphere. The dissertation therefore tries to examine the different ideological positions that were at work in the revived world of physical culture.



Prof Dr. Iftekhar Iqbal

Prof Dr. Iftekhar Iqbal (Dhaka, Bangladesh) ist vom 6. Juni 2012 - 31. Mai 2013 als Stipendiat der Humboldt-Stiftung am Seminar für Südasien-Studien.

Iftekhar Iqbal

Iftekhar Iqbal (PhD, Cambridge) is Associate Professor of History at Dhaka University. His recent book, The Bengal Delta (Palgrave, 2010), examines the political-ecological dynamics of the region in colonial times with a focus on agrarian economy and wellbeing. The book received Honorable Mention by the inaugural Bernard S. Cohn Prize Committee of the Association for Asian Studies. Iqbal is a holder of the British Academy Visiting Fellowship (2008) and an elected member of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society.

As a Georg Forster Fellow (2012-13) of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at Humboldt University, Iqbal works on “Rivers and trans-regional integration: environment, culture and communication across the Eastern Himalayan-Tibetan Watershed, 1840-1947”. In particular, Iqbal will study the modern history of Yunnan, Myanmar, Assam and Bengal in a view to situate trans-regional forces of ecology in the territorially-bounded development practices of the nation-state.



Prof. Dr. Irfan Habib

Prof. Dr. Irfan Habib (New Delhi, Indien) ist vom 23.4.-31.08. 2012 Gastprofessor am Seminar für Südasien-Studien im Rahmen des "Rotating Chair" Programms des Indian Council of Culural Relations.

Irfan Habib

Prof. Dr. Irfan Habib started his career at the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies, New Delhi, in 1982. In 2009, he moved to the National University of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi. Since then, he occupies the Maulana Azad Chair.

Prof. Dr. Irfan Habib has worked on diverse issues related to science, technology and colonialism in mid 19th and early 20th century India. At present he is engaged in research on issues concerning science and Islam, mainly within South Asia. His book called Jihad or Ijtihad: Religious orthodoxy and modern science in contemporary Islam is due for publication soon.



Girija Natu

Frau Girija Natu ist Gastwissenschaftlerin am Südasien-Seminar und Stipendiatin der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

Girija Natu

Girija Natu:

2006- BA mit Hauptfach Deutsch, Pune Universität, Maharashtra, India.

2008- Masters in German from, Pune Universität, Maharashtra, India.

Seit 2009- M.Phil an der deutschen Abteilung, Universität Pune, Maharashtra, India.

2012 Juni-August- Forschungsaufenthalt am Seminar für Südasien, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.


Über die Forschungsarbeit:

Indisch-deutsche Handelsbeziehungen und ihre Implementierung im Wirtschaftsdeutschkurs.

In der oben genannten Forschungsarbeit geht es um die Handelsbeziehungen zwischen Indien und Deutschland im Zeitraum von 1990-2010. Die Jahre 1990 und 1991 spielen für beide Länder – sowohl in Hinblick auf die Wiedervereinigung Deutschlands als auch bezüglich der wirtschaftlichen Öffnung Indiens – eine wichtige Rolle. In der vorliegenden Arbeit werden verschiedene Faktoren der indisch-deutschen Handelsbeziehungen berücksichtigt. Dazu gehören Geschichte, Indisch-Deutsche Kollaborationen, Wirtschaftskommunikation und die Darstellung der Beziehungen in der deutschen und indischen Presse.

In der Forschungsarbeit werden zudem didaktische Aspekte behandelt. Die Zielgruppe besteht aus Studenten, die den Kurs "Advanced Diploma" an einer staatlichen Universität in Indien absolviert haben und im indisch-deutschen Wirtschaftsbereich arbeiten wollen. Hierzu wird eine vergleichende Studie von Lehrplänen an ausgewählten Universitäten beider Länder durchgeführt, in der Lehrer des Wirtschaftsdeutschkurses und Mitarbeiter ausgewählter Unternehmen interviewt werden.



Urvashi Gautam

Urvashi Gautam

Currently pursuing her PhD in Contemporary European History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Her area of research includes the Second World War (1939-1945) and propaganda and the response in Germany, Britain and India. Her PhD thesis is titled “A war of Information: Germany, Britain and India: 1939-1945.”  She is looking at the representation of the “enemy” in propaganda mainly visual propaganda and is also comparing the process and means of information dissemination of the Axis and Allies in the Second World War. She has done her M.Phil and M.A from Jawaharlal Nehru University and her B.A in History from University of Delhi, Miranda House Delhi.