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Prof Nandini Gooptu

Associate Professor of South Asian Studies and Head of Department

Nandini Gooptu is Head of Department at the Oxford Department of International Development and Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford. Educated in Calcutta and at Cambridge, and trained as a social historian, she is the author of The Politics of the Urban Poor in Early-Twentieth Century India (Cambridge University Press, 2001), editor of Enterprise Culture in Neoliberal India (Routledge, 2013), and joint-editor of India and the British Empire (Oxford University Press, Oxford History of the British Empire series, 2012).

While her past research has been on colonial India, her current research is concerned with social and political transformation and cultural change in contemporary India in the wake of economic liberalisation and globalisation.

She has published articles on a variety of subjects, including caste, communal and religious politics, urban development, poverty and labour, work and employment, media and politics, and social movement of sex workers. She has taught at Cambridge and Oxford Universities.

She is a member of the South Asia Panel of the British Academy and of ESRC’s Peer Review College. She is the editor of the South Asian Diversity and Plurality book series of Anthem Press and a member of the editorial board of the South Asian History Series. She is one of the associate editors of Oxford Development Studies.

For the MPhil in Development Studies, Nandini Gooptu lectures on the History and Politics foundation course and the Core Course. She offers a paper on the History and Politics of South Asia for the MPhils in Development Studies, Politics, and Modern South Asian Studies. She is one of the core teachers for the MSc in Contemporary India at the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies. She also teaches South Asian Politics for the undergraduate PPE degree course. She has previously been the Director of Graduate Studies in Development Studies, the Director of Doctoral Research in International Development and the Course Director and Chair of Examiners of the MPhil in Development Studies. She was the recipient of a University of Oxford Teaching Excellence Award, in 2008, for “Outstanding teaching and commitment to teaching”.

She has supervised over 30 doctoral students, including the current cohort, in the Departments of International Development, Politics, and Sociology, and in the Faculty of Modern History at Oxford. A vast majority of her former students have gone on to take up academic appointments at major universities in the UK, India, USA and elsewhere.

Books and Monographs

Gooptu, Nandini (with Jonathan Parry) (2014) Persistence of Poverty in India, Delhi: Social Science Press

Gooptu, Nandini (ed) (2013) Enterprise Culture in Neoliberal India: Studies in Youth, Class, Work and Media, London: Routledge

Gooptu, Nandini (with D Peers) (eds) (2012) India and the British Empire, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Gooptu, Nandini (2001) The Politics of the Urban Poor in Early Twentieth-Century India, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Monograph)

Journal Articles and Special Issues

Gooptu, Nandini (2015) 'New spirituality, politics of self-empowerment, citizenship and democracy in contemporary India', Modern Asian Studies (Download from external site)

Gooptu, Nandini (2013) 'Servile Sentinels of the City: Private Security Guards, Organized Informality, and Labour in Interactive Services in Globalized India', International Review of Social History 58 (1): 9-38 (Download from external site)

Gooptu, Nandini (2009) 'Neoliberal Subjectivity, Enterprise Culture and New Workplaces: Organised Retail and Shopping Malls in India', Economic and Political Weekly 44(22): 45-54

Gooptu, Nandini (2007) 'Economic Liberalisation, Work and Democracy: Industrial Decline and the Urban Poor in Kolkata', Economic and Political Weekly 42(21): 1922-33

Gooptu, Nandini (with Nandinee Bandyopadhyay) (2007) ''Rights to Stop the Wrong': Cultural Change and Collective Mobilisation - The Case of Kolkata Sex Workers', Oxford Development Studies 35(3): 251-72 (Download from external site)

Gooptu, Nandini (1997) 'The Urban Poor and Militant Hinduism in Early Twentieth-century Uttar Pradesh', Modern Asian Studies 31(4): 879-918

Gooptu, Nandini (1996) 'Urban Poverty and the Politics of Caste and Religion in Early Twentieth Century North India: Implications for Development Practice and Research', Oxford Development Studies 24(3): 221-40

Gooptu, Nandini (1996) 'The 'Problem' of the Urban Poor: Policy and Discourse of Local Administration: A Study in Uttar Pradesh in the Interwar Period', Economic and Political Weekly 31(50): 3245-54

Chapters

Gooptu, Nandini (2016) 'Divided We Stand: The Indian City after Economic Liberalisation'. In Knut A Jacobsen (ed) Routledge Handbook of Contemporary India, London: Routledge

Gooptu, Nandini (2014) 'The Construction of Poverty and the Poor in Colonial and Post-colonial India: An Overview'. In Nandini Gooptu, Jonathan Parry (eds) Persistence of Poverty in India, Delhi: Social Science Press

Gooptu, Nandini (2013) 'New Spiritualism and the Micro-politics of Self-making in India's Enterprise Culture'. In N Gooptu (ed) Enterprise Culture in Neoliberal India: Studies in Youth, Class, Work and Media, London: Routledge

Gooptu, Nandini (with R Chakravarty) (2013) 'Reality TV in India and the Making of an Enterprising Housewife'. In N Gooptu (ed) Enterprise Culture in Neoliberal India: Studies in Youth, Class, Work and Media, London: Routledge

Gooptu, Nandini (2012) 'Understanding the Political Legacy of Colonialism'. In D Peers, N Gooptu (eds) India and the British Empire, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Gooptu, Nandini (2011) 'Economic Liberalization, Urban Politics and the Poor'. In S Ruparelia, S Reddy, J Harriss, S Corbridge (eds) Understanding India's New Political Economy: A Great Transformation?, London, New York: Routledge: pp 35-48

Gooptu, Nandini (2002) 'Sex Workers in Calcutta and the Dynamics of Collective Action: Political Activism, Community Identity and Group Behaviour'. In J Heyer, F Stewart, R Thorp (eds) Group Behaviour and Development: Is the Market Destroying Cooperation?, Oxford: Oxford University Press: pp 227-51

Gooptu, Nandini (with R Chakravarty) (2000) 'Imagi-Nation: The Media, Nation and Politics in Contemporary India'. In B Street, E Hallam (eds) Cultural Encounters: Communicating Otherness, London: Routledge: pp 89-107

Gooptu, Nandini (with B Harriss-White) (2000) 'Mapping India's World of Unorganised Labour'. In L Panitch, C Leys (eds) Working Classes, Global Realities: Socialist Register 2001, London: Merlin Press: pp 89-118

Gooptu, Nandini (1993) 'Caste and Labour: Untouchable Social Movements in Urban Uttar Pradesh in the Early Twentieth Century'. In Peter Robb (ed) Dalit Movements and Meanings of Labour in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press: pp 277-98

Other Publications

Gooptu, Nandini (2000) 'Sex Workers in Calcutta and the Dynamics of Collective Action: Political Activism, Community Identity and Group Behaviour', WIDER Working Papers 185 (May)


nandini.gooptu(at)qeh.ox.ac.uk


+44 (1865) 281802


St Antony's College

South Asian studies, with a focus on India; globalisation, labour and changing cultures of work in India; youth, politics and poverty; contemporary India's enterprise culture and the complexities of the making of the 'enterprising self', covering workplace culture, the media, mental health and personality development, religion and spirituality, education and skill training; urban development and politics; urbanisation and social history of metropolitan and small-town India; the urban poor and politics; democracy, rights, political identity and social movements.

International Development: increasing well-being and reducing inequality in global society