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Angma Jhala

Professor, History
DPhil, Oxford University (Christ Church), 2006
M.Div., Harvard Divinity School, 2007
M.St. in History, Oxford University (Christ Church), 2002
AB, Harvard University, 2001
Office: Adamian Academic Center 125 | 781.891._3116 | ajhala@bentley.edu
                       


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Bio

My work focuses on modern South Asian history and religion, with a particular emphasis on politics, gender and material culture in nineteenth and twentieth century India. My first book, Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India (2008), addressed histories of women, law and politics in colonial and postcolonial India, reexamining ideas of female agency and governance in the princely states. My second book, Royal Patronage, Power and Aesthetics in Princely India (2011), examined histories of aesthetics, consumption and collecting by courtly women and their depiction in Hindi and Euro-American cinema. My newest book, entitled An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion and Politics on the Borders of India, Bangladesh and Burma, recently published with Oxford University Press (2019), addresses histories of indigeneity and colonial systems of knowledge (botany, gender, enumerative statistics and anthropology), from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. I have also been involved in histories of art as a consultant to the Museum of Fine Art Houston's 2018 exhibition on Indian royal art, which subsequently travelled to the Seattle Art Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, and edited a collection of essays which accompanied the exhibition.

Teaching Interests

Colonial and twentieth century South Asian history; History of South Asian Religions; Gender and Sexuality in South Asia; Reading history through South Asian literature and film

Research Interests

Modern South Asia; Colonialism, law and politics in 19th and 20th century India; Histories of family, domesticity and sexuality; Courtly and royal aesthetics; South Asian religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and Sikhism); studies of indigeneity; intellectual history and colonial forms of knowledge

Awards and Honors

2019, Bentley Faculty Summer Grant, Bentley University
2018, Faculty Summer Grant, Bentley University
2017, FAC grant, Bentley University
2016, Faculty Summer Research Grant, Bentley University
2015, Visting Scholar, Harvard University, Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality department
2014, Student Research Assistantship, Valente Center
2013, Faculty Summer Research Grant, Bentley University
2012, Student Research Assistantship, Valente Center
2011, Bentley Summer Grant
2010, 2010 - 2011 Valente Center Faculty Fellowship
2010, Bentley Faculty Summer Grant
2010, Dean's Fund for International Travel, Bentley University
2009, Bentley Faculty Summer Grant, Bentley University
2009, Bentley Publication Awards, Bentley University
2006, OMS Summer Fellowship, Harvard Divinity School
2005, Associate Member, Signet Society, Harvard University
2005, Clarendon Fund, Oxford University, 2001 - 2005
2004, Harvard Film Studies Fellowship
2002, American Friends of Christ Church, Oxford Fellowship
2002, Beit Fund, Oxford University, 2002 & 2003

Publications

Journal Article(s)
Jhala, A. D. (2019). The Indian Princely States and Their Rulers. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History.

Jhala, A. D. (2017). The scandalous case of the Rani of Lathi: female regency, princely politics and sexual impropriety in 1920s colonial India. South Asian Studies, 33 (2), 149-164.

Jhala, A. D. (2015). 'Home and the World': Cosmopolitan, Transnational Identities of Courtly Indian Women in the Late Imperial Zenana. Modern Asian Studies, Volume 49 (Number 6 ), 1704-1731.

Jhala, A. D. (2013). Daughters of the Hills: legacies of colonialism, nationalism and religious communalism in the Chakma Raj family, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bengal c. 1900 – 1972. South Asian History and Culture, 4 (1), 107-125.

Jhala, A. D. (2011). Shifting the gaze: colonial and postcolonial portraits of the zenana in Hindi and Euro-American cinema. South Asian Popular Culture, 9 (3), 259-271.

Jhala, A. D. (2010). The Jodhpur Regency: princely education, politics and gender in postcolonial India. South Asian History and Culture, 1 (3), 378–396.

Jhala, A. D. (2009). The Malabar Hill Murder Trial of 1925: sovereignty, law and sexual politics in colonial princely India. The Indian Economic and Social History Review, 46 (3), 373-400.

Books
Jhala, A. D. (2019). An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma and Bangladesh. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Jhala, A. D. (2011). Royal Patronage, Power and Aesthetics in Princely India. London: Pickering and Chatto, Empire in Perspectives Series. Reprinted in paperback by Routledge in 2015.

Jhala, A. D. (2008). Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India. London: Pickering and Chatto Press. Reprinted in paperback by Routledge in 2015.

Edited Volumes
Jhala, A. D. (Ed.). (2018). Peacock in the Desert: the Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India. . Houston: Museum of Fine Arts Houston/ Yale University Press

Book Chapters
Jhala, A. D. (2018). Imperial Cosmopolitanism, Royal Patronage, and Zenana Courts. Peacock in the Desert: the Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India. Houston: . Museum of Fine Arts Houston/Yale University Press

Jhala, A. D. (2017). Rani Jijima, Soldier, Statesman, Financier: a Rajput queen in mid-eighteenth century western India. Genealogy, Archive, Image: Interpreting Dynastic History in western India, c.1090-2016. Berlin: . De Gruyter Press

Jhala, A. D. (2017). Introduction. Genealogy, Archive, Image: Interpreting Dynastic History in western India, c.1090-2016. Berlin: . De Gruyter Press

Jhala, A. D. (2012). Cosmopolitan Kitchens: Cooking for Princely Zenanas in Late Colonial India. In Tulasi Srinivas, Krishnendu Ray (Eds.), Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food and South Asia. Berkeley/Los Angeles: . University of California Press

Jhala, A. D. (2011). From pardah to silver screen: representations of the Muslim courtesan in Hindi Cinema. Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic Civilizations. Brill

Jhala, A. D. (2009). Made for Maharanis: Aesthetics of Courtly Women in Colonial Princely India. In Maureen Goggin, Beth Tobin (Eds.), Material Women, 1750- 1950: Consuming Desires and Consuming Objects. Farnham: . Ashgate

Jhala, A. D. (2009). From Zenana to Cinema: The Impact of Royal Aesthetics on Bollywood Film. In Moti Gokulsing (Eds.), Popular Culture in a globalised India. New York: . Routledge

Jhala, A. D. (2007). Memoirs of Maharanis: The Politics of Marriage, Companionship and Love in Late Colonial Princely India. In Towheed, Shafquat (Eds.), New Readings in the Literature of British India, c.1780-1947. Stuttgart: . ibidem-Verlag

Book Reviews
Jhala, A. D. (2015). [Review of the book Founding an Empire on India's North-Eastern Frontiers, 1790-1840: Climate, Commerce, Polity]. South Asian History and Culture.

Jhala, A. D. (2015). [Review of the book Forgotten Friends: Monks, Marriages and Memories of Northeast India]. South Asian History and Culture.

Jhala, A. D. (2012). [Review of the book Harem Histories: Envisioning Places and Living Spaces]. Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History Review.

Jhala, A. D. (2006). [Review of the book Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World]. The Journal of the American Oriental Society.

Jhala, A. D. (2006). [Review of the book Maharanis: The Lives and Times of Three Generations of Indian Princesse]. Journal of the Oxford University History Society.

Jhala, A. D. (2004). [Review of the book Hindu Kingship and Polity in Precolonial India]. Journal of the Oxford University History Society.

Jhala, A. D. (2004). [Review of the book Indian Princes and their States]. Journal of the Oxford University History Society.

Conference Paper(s)
Jhala, A. D. (2013). Buddhism: Reading the Marginalized History of the Indigenous Peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability, Columbia University, Historical Justice and Memory: Questions of Rights and Accountability in Contemporary Society Conference.

Conference Presentations

Jhala, A. D. (2019). "An Endangered History: Colonial Knowledge, Indigeneity and the India/Burma border." Presented at the Dartmouth College's New England Association for Asian Studies conference.

Jhala, A. D. (2017). "Colonial Archive of a Tribal Borderland: At the Crossroads of India, Bangladesh and Burma." Presented at the Boston College,'s 2017 New England Association for Asian Studies conference, Boston, MA.

Jhala, A. D. (2014). "How Changing Standards of Beauty Across Time and Culture Impact the Global Beauty Industry." Presented at the Women’s Center, Bentley University's Invited Brown Bag Talk, Waltham, MA .

Jhala, A. D. (2013). "Buddhism: Reading the Marginalized History of the Indigenous Peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh." Presented at the Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability, Columbia University's Historical Justice and Memory: Questions of Rights and Accountability in Contemporary Society Conference, Columbia Law School.

Jhala, A. D. (2013). "Cosmopolitan collecting: Material culture in the colonial Zenana." Presented at the Gender and History's Gender, Imperialism and Global Exchanges Workshop, Brown University, Rhode Island.

Jhala, A. D. (2012). "Entering the Zenana: Histories of Architecture, Interior Design, and Fashion in the Indian Princely States, c. 1900-1947." Presented at the Material Cultures in the Space Between: The Fourteenth Annual Conference of the Space Between Society: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

Jhala, A. D. (2011). "Royal Patronage, Religion and Aesthetics in Princely India: Zenana women as Collectors, Consumers and Patrons." Presented at the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School's Hindu Studies Colloquium, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Jhala, A. D. (2011). "Material Culture in the colonial Zenana." Presented at the Valente Center, Bentley University 's Valente Center Fellows Talk.

Jhala, A. D. (2010). "Cosmopolitan Collectors: Patronage and Consumption in the Zenan." Presented at the College at Brockport, State University of New York's New York Conference on Asian Studies .

Jhala, A. D. (2010). "‘Home and the World’: Cosmopolitan, Transnational Identities of Courtly Indian Women in the Zenana." Presented at the 10th Annual Conference of the Global Studies Association: Globalization and International Relations, Merton College, Oxford University.

Jhala, A. D. (2010). "Indian princes and ideas of ‘Britishness:’ The influence of education and aesthetics on creating hybrid colonial identities." Presented at the Immigration and National Identity in British History- Europe, Empire and Commonwealth conference , St. Anthony's College, Oxford University .

Jhala, A. D. (2008). "The prince’s education: sovereignty, imperialism and nationalism in royal India." Presented at the Library of Congress and Johns Hopkins University's Rajput Maharajas Conference, Washington, DC.

Service

Department Service
Undergraduate Academic Programs Fair - 2019
Major/Minors Open House for Accepted Students - 2019
Panelist - 2018
Departmental Representative - 2018
Departmental Representative - 2018
Other for Majors/Minors Open House for Accepted Students - 2017
Departmental Representative - 2014
Departmental Representative, 2012 - 2012
Departmental Representative - 2011

University Service
Committee Member for Teaching and Scholarly Activities Committee, 2018 - Present
Committee Member for Bentley Research Council, 2017 - Present
Committee Member for Dean of Arts and Sciences Search Committee, 2017 - 2018
Committee Member for Faculty Evaluation Procedures Committee, 2016 - 2018
University Senate, 2016 - 2018
Board Member for Valente Center , 2014 - 2015
Senator for University Senate, 2011 - 2015
Committee Member for Faculty Evaluation Procedures Committee, 2011 - 2015
Committee Member for Research Committee, 2010 - 2011

Professional Service
Reviewer, Journal Article for Gender & History, 2019 - Present
Editorial Review Board Member for South Asian History and Culture, 2010 - Present
Reviewer, Journal Article for Modern Asian Studies, 2018 - 2019
Reviewer, Journal Article for Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History Review, 2017 - 2017
Reviewer, Journal Article for Modern Asian Studies, 2015 - 2016
Reviewer, Journal Article for Food and Foodways - 2015
Manuscript Reviewer for Gastronomica - 2014
Reviewer, Journal Article for South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 2013 - 2013
Reviewer, Journal Article for Asian Ethnicity, 2012 - 2012
Reviewer, Book for Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History Review, 2012 - 2012
Reviewer, Book for Oxford University Press (Pakistan), 2012 - 2012
Reviewer, Book for I. B. Tauris Publishers, 2011 - 2011
Examiner for an undergraduate senior honors thesis for US Naval Academy, Annapolis, 2011 - 2011
Reviewer, Book for The Journal of the American Oriental Society, 2006 - 2006

Public Service
Consultant/Catalogue Editor for Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 2013 - 2018
Keynote Speaker for Primary Source, 2011 - 2011