Dipesh Chakrabarty

Dipesh Chakrabarty
Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor
Foster Hall 208
Office Hours: On Leave 2023-2024
Ph.D., Australian National University


Dipesh Chakrabarty holds a BSc (physics honors) degree from Presidency College, University of Calcutta, a postgraduate Diploma in management (considered equivalent to MBA) from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and a PhD (history) from the Australian National University. He is currently the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College. He is also a faculty fellow of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory and an associate faculty of the Department of English.

He is a founding member of the editorial collective of Subaltern Studies, a consulting editor of Critical Inquiry, a founding editor of Postcolonial Studies, and has served on the editorial boards of the American Historical Review and Public Culture. He was one of the founding editors, with Sheldon Pollock from Columbia University and Sanjay Subrahmanyam from UCLA, of the series, South Asia Across the Disciplines, published by a consortium of three university presses (Chicago, Columbia, and California). He also serves on the Board of Experts for non-Western art for the Humboldt Forum in Berlin and has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board to the Center for Global Cooperation Research (Bonn and Essen) since 2012.

Chakrabarty is the recipient of the 2014 Toynbee Foundation Prize for his contributions to global history. He was awarded an honorary DLitt by the University of London (conferred at Goldsmiths) in 2010 and an honorary doctorate by the University of Antwerp in 2011. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (conferred on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Institute in 2011). He was elected an honorary fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2006 and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004.

In 2019, Chakrabarty will be a visiting professor at ETH, Zurich, and will deliver the "Counter Currents" lecture at Cambridge.

In 2018, he will be the inaugural distinguished fellow at the Humanities Institute of the University College, London, and a guest professor at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris.

In 2017, he participated in a conference on the history of Eurocentrism hosted by Peter Burke at Cambridge, delivered the Mandel Lectures in the Humanities at Brandeis, and delivered the annual History and Theory lecture at Harvard.  He will also continue as Dean's Distinguished Visitor, The Australian National University, Canberra.

In 2016, Chakrabarty presented a keynote on "South Asian Futures" at the University of Lund. He continued as Dean's Distinguished Visitor, The Australian National University, Canberra. He delivered the History Lecture at Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, where he was a visitor to the Rachel Carson Center. He also lectured at the University of Wrocław; Ludwig-Maximilan University, Munich; Presidency University, Calcutta; University of Paris; Lund University; and Ohio State; and delivered the keynote at the History Association Conference, Dhaka.

In 2015, Chakrabarty delivered the Tanner Lectures in Human Values at Yale University and the Arthur L. Throckmorton Lecturer in History at Lewis and Clark College. He was a Provost's Visiting Scholar at the University of South Carolina History Center, a GLAS Visiting Scholar at the University of Leiden, and a guest of the University of Barcelona in 2015.

In 2014, Chakrabarty delivered the Radhakrishnan Memorial Lectures at All Souls College, Oxford, IWM Lectures in Human Sciences, Vienna, the Wallace T. MacCaffrey Distinguished Lecture in History at Reed College, and the Faculty of History Lecture at the University of Basel, and a lecture on Marx at the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin. He was also the Principal’s Distinguished Visitor at Queens University, Canada. In 2013, he was invited to be a Nicholson Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Previously, Chakrabarty has been, by invitation, a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2008–09): Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna (2010); Lansdowne Lecturer at Victoria University, Canada (2012); Katz Professor in the Humanities, University of Washington, Seattle (2009); Hallsworth Visiting Professor, The University of Manchester, U.K. (2009); Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa (2007); distinguished visitor, Institute of Advanced Study, the University of Minnesota (2007); visiting professor, European Union Humanities University, Vilnius, Lithuania (2006); scholar-in-residence, Pratt Institute, New York (2005); visiting fellow, Max Planck Institute for Historical Sciences, Goettingen (2005); faculty, Seminar in Experimental Critical Theory, University of California, Irvine (2005); visiting research professor, University of Technology, Sydney (2005 and 2009); visitor, Center for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi (2005); visitor, Humanities Center, State University of New York, Stony Brook (2004); Hitesranjan Sanyal Visiting Professor of History, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (2003); visiting fellow, Humanities Institute, Princeton (2002); visiting assistant professor, Department of History, University of California, Berkeley, and has held other fellowships in Australia, India, and the United States. He has also been associated for many years with the Australian National University and the University of Technology, Sydney.

Chakrabarty’s most recent book is The Calling of History: Sir Jadunath Sarkar and His Empire of Truth (Chicago, 2015). He is the co-editor with Henning Trüper and Sanjay Subrahmanyam of Historical Teleologies in the Modern World(Bloomsbury, 2015). He is currently working on three books, provisionally entitled The Holocene Lost: Climate Change and the Human Condition (Chicago), The Historical Imagination and Its Contemporary Crisis(Duke)Provincializing Europe in a Warming World (Mandel Lectures, Brandeis University, to be published by University Press of New England).

His other publications include Rethinking Working-Class History: Bengal 1890–1940 (Princeton, 1989, 2000); Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, 2000; second edition, 2008); Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies (Chicago, 2002). He has also edited (with Shahid Amin) Subaltern Studies IX (Delhi: Oxford, 1996); (with Carol Breckenridge, Homi Bhabha, and Sheldon Pollock) Cosmopolitanism (Duke, 2000); (with Rochona Majumdar and Andrew Sartori) From the Colonial to the Postcolonial: India and Pakistan in Transition (Delhi: Oxford, 2007); and (with Bain Attwood and Claudio Lomnitz) "The Public Life of History," a special issue of Public Culture (2008). Provincializing Europe has been translated into Italian, French, Polish, Spanish Turkish, and Korean and is being brought out in Chinese. Habitations hasbeen published in Arabic. A collection of two essays translated into Spanish was published in 2009: El humanismo en la era de la globalizacion and La descolonizacion y las politicas culturales (Buenos Aires: Katz Editores, and Barcelona: Centro de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona, 2009). A Dipesh Chakrabarty Reader (in Chinese) was recently published (Nanfang Press, 2010). An assortment of essays was published in German under the title, Europa als Provinz: Perspektiven postkolonialer Geschichtsschreibung (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2010). A collection of essays written originally in Bengali was recently brought out in Calcutta, Itihasher janajibon o anyanyo probondho (The Public Life of History and Other Essays) (in Bengali) (Calcutta: Ananda Publishers, 2011). Chakrabarty is a regular contributor to Bengali newspapers and journals published from Calcutta.



The Holocene Lost: Climate Change and the Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

The Historical Imagination and Its Contemporary Crisis. Durham, NC: Duke University.

Provincializing Europe in a Warming World, Mandel Lectures, Brandeis University. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England.

Communing with Magpies: Eclectic Essays in Global and Planetary Histories. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Published Books

Historical Teleologies in the Modern World, coedited with Henning Trüper and Sanjay Subrahmanyam. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.

The Calling of History: Sir Jadunath Sarkar and His Empire of Truth. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.

From the Colonial to the Postcolonial: India and Pakistan in Transition, coedited with Rochona Majumdar and Andrew Sartori. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000; second edition, 2008.

Cosmopolitanism, coedited with Carol Breckenridge, Homi Bhabha, and Sheldon Pollock. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002 [2000].

Subaltern Studies IX, coedited with Shahid Amin. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Rethinking Working-Class History: Bengal 1890–1940. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989, 2000.

Published Articles

"Afterword." In a special issue on "Climate Change and the Production of Knowledge," South Atlantic Quarterly 116, no. 1 (2017): 163–68.

"The Politics of Climate Change is More Than the Politics of Capitalism." Theory, Culture, and Society34, nos. 2–3 (Mar.–May 2017): 25–37.

"The Future of the Human Sciences in the Age of Humans: A Note." In the Anthropocene and Social Theory Twentieth-Anniversary Special Issue, European Journal of Social Theory 20, no. 1 (Feb. 2017): 39–43.

"Humanities in A Warming World: The Crisis of an Enduring Kantian Fable." New Literary History 47, nos. 2&3 (2016), pp. 377-398.

"The Human Condition in the Anthropocene." In The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, vol. 35, edited by Mark Matheson 137–88. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2016.

"Soundings and Echoes: Introduction." South Asia 39, no. 1 (2016): 183–89 [Interview of David Anthony Lowe].

"A Field to Work In: Finding Labor History in Calcutta and Canberra." South Asia 39, no. 1 (2016): 251–54

"Interview with Dipesh Chakrabarty." South Asian History and Culture 7, no. 3 (2016): 301–3

"The Human Significance of the Anthropocene." In, Reset Modernity! Edited by Bruno Latour and Christophe Leclercq. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2016.

"Whose Anthropocene? A Response." In a special isse on "Whose Anthropocene? Revisiting Dipesh Chakrabarty's Four Theses on Climate History," edited by Thomas Laken and Robert Emmett. Rachel Carson Center Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society 2 (2016): 103–13.

"Reading (the) Late Chris Bayly: A Personal Tribute." South Asian History and Culture 7, no. 1 (2016): 1–6.

"The Climate of History: Four Theses." In Ecocriticism: The Essential Reader, edited by in Ken Hiltner. New York: Routledge, 2015.

"Foreword." In Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities: Postcolonial Approaches, edited by Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Jill Didur, and Anthony Carrigan. New York: Routledge, 2015.

"My Life in History: Communing with Magpies." History Australia 11, no. 3 (Dec. 2014): 194–206.

"Climate and Capital: On Conjoined Histories." Critical Inquiry 41, no. 1 (Aut. 2014): 1–23.

"Friendships in the Shadow of Empire: Rabindranath Tagore's Reception in Chicago, c. 1913–1932." Modern Asian Studies (Apr. 2014): 1–27.
To be reprinted in the journal of the Department of English, Visva Bharati University and in Baha, a bilingual magazine run by Binapani Education Trust, Sriniketan, Birbhum, India.

"Marx after Marxism. In Contemporary Marxist Theory: A Reader, edited by Jeff Diamanti et al., 141–48. New York: Bloomsbury, 2014, (reprint).

"A Tryst With the Past: Interview with Dipesh Chakrabarty." In The Kindle Biannual 1, 79–86. Calcutta: Ink Publications, 2014.

"Baucom's Critique: A Brief Response." Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 1, no. 2 (Jul. 2014), 245–264.

"The Geophysical Agency of Humans and Climate Change." Global Energy Affairs (Jun. 2014): 16–17.

"Quelques Failles Dans la Penséesur le Changement Climatique." In De l’univers clos monde infini, edited by Émilie Hache, 107–46. Paris: Éditions Dehors, 2014.

"Dipesh Chakrabarty in Conversation with Paweł Marczeski." Krytyca Polityczna (2014): 32–34.

"Europa provicialisieren: Postkolonialitaet und die Kritik der Geshichte." In Jenseits des Eurozentrismus, edited by Sebastian Conrad, Shalini Randeria, and Regina Roemhild, 134–61. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2013 (reprint).

"The Lost Causes of E. P. Thompson." Labour/Le Travail: Journal of Canadian Labour Studies (Fall 2013): 207–12.

"Die Gewalt und die Zivilisation: Dipesh Chakrabarty im Gespraech."Geo (Nov. 2013): 55–58 [interview with Gabriele Riedle].

"Verspaetung und Modernitaet: Subalterne Historien, wieder mal." In Moderne und Religion: Kontroversen um Modernitaet und Saekularisierung, edited by Ulrich Willems et al., 183–201. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2013.

"Subaltern Studies in Retrospect and Reminiscence." Economic and Political Weekly (Mar. 23, 2013): 23–27.

"Gandhi's Gita and Politics as Such." In Political Thought in Action: The Bhagavat Gita and Modern India, edited by Shruti Kapila and Faisal Devji, 67–87. Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2013 [reprint; with Rochona Majumdar].

"Foreword/Calcutta: In Memories and Photographs." In Redeeming Calcutta: A Portrait of India's Imperial Capital, edited by Steve Raymer. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013.

"Subaltern Studies, Post-Colonial Marxism, and 'Finding Your Place to Begin from': An Interview with Dipesh Chakrabarty." In Dialogues with Contemporary Political Theorists, edited by Gary Browning, Raia Prokhovnik, and Maria Dimova-Cookson, 58–72. London: Palgrave, 2012.

"Interview: On Climate Change." La Revue des Livres (Nov.–Dec. 2012).

"Le climat de l’Histoire: quatre theses." Entropia: Revue d’étude théorique et politique de la décroissance 12 (2012): 39–49 [French translation].

"The Climate of History: Four Theses." Beifang Luncong 3 (2012): 58–67 [Chinese translation].

"Museums in Late Democracies." In The Visual Culture Reader, 3rd ed., edited by in Nicholas Mirzoeff. New York and London: Routledge, 2012.

"Community, State, and the Body: Epidemics and Popular Culture in Colonial India." In Medical Marginality in South Asia: Situating Subaltern Therapeutics, edited by David Hardiman and Projit Mukharji, 36–58. London: Routledge, 2012.

"Postcolonial Studies and the Challenge of Climate Change." New Literary History 43, no. 1 (Win. 2012): 1-18.

"From Civilization to Globalization: The West as a Signifier in Indian Modernity." Inter-Asian Cultural Studies 13, no. 1 (2012). French translation in La Revue des Libres (Jan. 31, 2012).

"Australian Lessons." In India and Australia: Bridging Different Worlds, edited by Brian Stoddart and Auriol Weigold, 8–15. Delhi: Readworthy, 2011.

"Veraendert der Klimawandel die Geschichtschreibung? Transit 41 (2011).

"The Birth of Academic Historical Writing in India." In Oxford History of Historical Writing 1900–1950, vol. 4, edited by Stuart Macintyre et al., 520–36. Oxford University Press, 2011.

"The Muddle of Modernity." American Historical Review 116, no. 3 (Jun. 2011): 663–75.

"Can Political Economy be Postcolonial?" In Postcolonial Economies, edited by Jane Pollard, Cheryl McEwan, and Alex Hughes. London: Zed Books, 2011.

"Romantic Nationalism and Its Ambivalent Legacies." Delhi: National Council of Educational Research and Training, 2011 [Sir Aurobindo Third Memorial Lecture, 2010].

"Belatedness as Possibility: Subaltern Histories, Once More. In The Indian Postcolonial: A Critical Reader, edited by Elleke Boehmer and Rosinka Chaudhuri, 163–76. London: Routledge, 2011.

"The Climate of History: Four Theses." Global History (2010): 348-386 [Korean translation].

"A Europe in the World? Twenty Years After 1989." Comprendre: Revue de Politique de la Culture 2 (2010) 189–196. Also published in Europa Regional 4 (2009).

"Historia subalterna como pensamento politico." In A Politica dos Muitos: Povo, Classes e Multidao, edited by Bruno Dias and Jose Neves, 281–307. Lisbon: Tinta-da-China, 2010. Reprinted as "Subaltern Studies as Political Thought." In Colonialism and Its Legacies, edited by Jacob Levy and Iris Marion Young, 205–18. New York: Lexington Books, 2011.

"Bourgeois Categories Made Global: Utopian and Actual Lives of Historical Documents in India." In Utopia/Dystopia, edited by Michael G. Cordin, Hellen Tilley, and Gyan Prakash, 73–93. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010). Also published in Economic and Political Weekly 25 (2009): 69–75.

"The Legacies of Bandung: Decolonization and the Politics of Culture." In Making a World After Empire: The Bandung Moment and Its Political Afterlives, edited by Christopher Lee, 45–68. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010. An earlier version published in Economic and Political Weekly.

"Gandhi’s Gita and Politics as Such." Journal of Modern Intellectual History 7, no. 2 (2010): 335–53 [with Rochona Majumdar].

"Empire, Ethics, and the Calling of History: Knowledge in the Postcolony." In Unsettling History: Archiving and Narrating in Historiography, edited by Sebastian Jobs and Alf Lüdtke, 63–88. Frankfurt, New York: Campus Verlag, 2010). Another version published in Ethical Life in South Asia, edited by Anand Pandian and Daud Ali, 116–39. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.

"The Home and the World in Sumit Sarkar's History of Bengal." In The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal, 1903–1908. Delhi: Permanent Black, 2010.

"Identities and Violence: Towards a Critique of Amartya Sen." South Asian History and Culture 1, no. 1 (Jan. 2010): 149-54. Also as "Possibilidades e os Limites da Interculturalidade." In Podemos Viver Semo o Outro?, 39–54. Lisbon: Gulbenkian Foundation, 2009. An earlier version was published in Meanjin 66, no. 2 (2007).

An Anti-Colonial History of the Postcolonial Turn. Melbourne: Department of History, University of Melbourne, 2009 [Greg Dening Memorial Lecture].

"Keine Angst vor Kräften der Geschichte." Köpfe und Ideen (2009): 30–38 [interview].

"The Names and Repetitions of Postcolonial History." In The Ambiguous Allures of the West: Traces of the Colonial in Thailand, edited by Rachel V. Harrison and Peter A. Jackson, vii–xvii. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2010.

"Historicism and Its Supplements: A Note on a Predicament Shared by Medieval and Postcolonial Studies." In Medievalisms in the Postcolonial World: The Idea of "the Middle Ages" Outside Europe, edited by Kathleen Davis and Nadia Altschul, 109–22. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

"The Modern and the Secular in the West: An Outsider’s View." Journal of the American Academy of Religions 77, no. 1 (Jun. 2009): 393–409. [Review of Charles Taylor's A Secular Age; also published in German in Transit].

"The Climate History: Four Theses." Critical Inquiry (Win. 2009): 197–222. Translated as "Le Climat de L'Histoire: Quatre Theses." La Revue Internationale 5 (January-February 2010): 22-31. Also carried in Eurozine (October 30, 2009). Translated into German, Spanish, Hungarian, and Malayalam.

"Humanism in a Global World." In Humanism in Intercultural Perspective, edited by Joern Reusen, 23–36. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2009.

"Nation and Imagination." In Poetry and Cultural Studies: A Reader, edited by Ira Livingston, 285–300. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009 [reprint of a chapter from Provincializing Europe].

"From Subaltern Studies to Provincializing Europe." Porowania 6 (2009): 263–70 [Polish translation].

"Aboriginal and Subaltern Histories." In Frontier, Race, Nation: Henry Reynolds and Australian History, edited by Bain Attwood and Tom Griffiths, 55–70. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2009. 

L'Humanisme En Una Era Global. Barcelona: Center for Contemporary Culture, 2008 [published lecture].

"In Defense of Provincializing Europe: A Response to Carola Dietze." History and Theory 47, no. 1 (2008): 85–96.

"The Public Life of History: An Argument Out of India." Public Culture 20, no. 1 (Win. 2008): 143–68.
[Co-edited issue on "The Public Life of History" with Bain Attwood and Claudio Lomnitz.]

"Greg Dening: A Personal Tribute." Postcolonial Studies 11, no. 2 (2008): 227–28.

"'In the Name of Politics': Democracy and the Power of the Multitude in India." Public Culture 19, no. 51 (Win. 2007): 35–57. Reprinted in Varieties of World-Making: Beyond Globalization, edited by Nathalie Karagiannis and Peter Wagner, 111–32. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2007).

"Remembering 1857: An Introductory Note." Economic and Political Weekly 42, no. 19 (May 2007): 1692–95.

"Mangal Pandey: Film and History." Economic and Political Weekly 42, no. 19 (May 2007) 1771–78 [with Rochona Majumdar].

"History and the Politics of Recognition." In Manifestos for Historians, edited by Keith Jenkins, Sue Morgan, and Alan Munslow, 77–86. New York: Routledge, 2007.

"Das Wissen der Weltregionen: Birgit Schäbler im Gespräch mit Dipesh Chakrabarty." In Area Studies und die Welt: Weltregionen und neue Globalgeschichte, edited by Birgit Schäbler, 252–258. Vienna: Mandelbaum Verlag, 2007.

"Recording the Past: How popular culture is shaping the future of history." Biblio 10, no. 9–10 (2006): 16–17. Translated into Malayalam in Pachakuthira (Feb. 2006): 55–57 and into Bengali in Aitihashik (The Historian).

"A Global and Multicultural 'Discipline' of History?" Review essay. History and Theory 45, no.1 (February 2006): 101–109.

"Politics Unlimited: The Global Adivasi and Debates about the Political." In The Politics of Indigeneity in India, edited by Bengt A. Karlsson and Tanka B. Subba, 235–346. London: Routledge, 2006.

"Dipesh Chakrabarty: Quelle histoire pour les dominés?" Sciences Humaines (Oct. 2006): 34–36 [interview].

"Positive Uneinigkeit: Interview mit dem Historiker Dipesh Chakrabarty zum Projekt der Subaltern Studies und der 'Provinzialisierung' Europa." Springerin 2 (Spr. 2008): 18–23. Translation of an interview originally published in Sciences Humaines (October 2006).

"'Quelle histoire pour les dominés?' Entretien avec Dipesh Chakrabarty." In Histoire globale. Un nouveau regard sur le monde, edited by Laurent Testot, 225–30. Paris: Sciences Humaines, 2008.

"The Fall and Rise of Indian Sports History." The International Journal of the History of Sport 21, nos. 3–4 (Jun.–Sept. 2004): 337–43. Reprinted in Sport in South Asian Society: Past and Present, edited by Boria Majumdar and J. A. Mangan, 17. Abingdon: Routledge, 2005.

"After History: Vergenheit archivieren, erfahren und zerstören." Historische Anthropologie 13, no. 1 (2005): 121–35. (German translation of "After History: Archiving, Preserving, and Destroying the Past," unpublished in English).

"Romantic Archives: Literature and the Politics of Identity in Bengal." Critical Inquiry (Spr. 2004) 654–82.

Subject Area: Bengali