Andrew Halladay

Andrew Halladay
Gilman 161

Research Interests: Nineteenth- and twentieth-century South Asia, cultural history, social history, popular culture, film history, nationalism, Islam, historical memory, language politics, and Indian cinema

Education: PhD, University of Chicago

I am a cultural historian of South Asia with a particular interest in late colonial North India. Though my research spans multiple dimensions of the public sphere—including literature, film, and print culture—it consistently returns to themes of sovereignty and identity within the context of British rule. My dissertation, for example, considers the ways in which Indian actors creatively repurposed the figure of the British sovereign to forward their own social and political propositions, and two of my forthcoming publications examine the potency of the eighteenth-century warrior king Shivaji (r. 1674–80) as a symbol for political mobilization and national self-fashioning in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These projects emerged from extensive archival work in India and were supported through awards from the Fulbright Program and the American Institute of Indian Studies.

I hold a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School (specializing in the traditions of Islam) and a joint PhD in History and South Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago, which I was awarded with distinction. Topics for my current and future projects include the Gandhian politics of the Urdu poet Akbar Allahabadi, the work of the Indian film pioneer Himansu Rai in the German film industry, the Esperanto movement in early twentieth-century India, and the imprisonment of so-called suspicious foreigners in Bombay during the First World War.

“The Many Swords of Shivaji: Searching for a Weapon, Finding a Nation.” Modern Asian Studies (forthcoming, 2023).

“The King of the Marathas and the Language of the Gods: Representations of Shivaji in Late Colonial Sanskrit Literature.” The Life of Contemporary Sanskrit: Dialogues between Tradition and Modernity. Edited by Laurie Patton and Charles Preston. In Vol. 9 in Dialogues in South Asian Traditions. Edited by Laurie Patton, Brian Black, and Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad. London: Routledge, forthcoming.