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Jessica Namakkal, Assistant Professor of the Practice and Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies

Jessica Namakkal

My research focuses on the global networks established through colonial conquest and the ways in which movements for decolonization have utilized, challenged, and/or transformed these networks. My first book project is a history of decolonization in 20th-century French India. I have researched and written about the colonial, decolonial, and postcolonial relationships between England, France, and India, paying particular attention to how the experiences of the people in the French colonies in India challenged the dominant narrative of Indian independence and the "end" of the colonial era. My manuscript in progress, Unsettling Utopia: Decolonization, Borders, and Mobility in 20th Century India, shows that the colonial borders the British and French constructed during their rule in South Asia were adopted and reinforced by the Indian state, subsuming many movements for post-colonial autonomy that emerged on the ground in French India.  The book also looks at questions of how decolonization has shaped modern life in Western Europe as well as in South Asia, through experiences of postcolonial migrations, colonial settlement, and utopian experiments aimed a global place-making. New research from my second project on race-mixing and diaspora in South Asia and Europe is forthcoming in the Journal of Women's History, Summer 2019. 

Contact Info:
Office Location:  210-C East Duke Building
Office Phone:  (919) 660-4353
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Spring 2019):

  • ICS 489S.01, CAPSTONE: GLOBAL STUDIES Synopsis
    Class Bldg 136, MW 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
Office Hours:

Fall 2016

Tuesday 3 - 4:30

Education:

PhDUniversity of Minnesota2013
Ph.D.University of Minnesota, Twin Cities2012
BAUniversity of Southern California2001
Research Interests: South Asia, France, Empire, Migration, Global and Postcolonial History

My research focuses on the era, and theories, of decolonization in the 20th-century. I have researched and written about the colonial, decolonial, and postcolonial relationships between France and India, paying particular attention to how the experiences of the people in the French colonies in India challenge the dominant narrative of Indian independence and the "end" of the colonial era. I also work on the question of how decolonization has shaped modern life in Europe, through experiences of postcolonial migrations and global tourism. The manuscript I am currently working on seeks to expand understandings of decolonization from an isolated relationship between metropole and colony to a global context.


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