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

Jessica Namakkal
Office Location:  Ics Program, 210-C East Duke Building, Durham, NC 27708-0405
Office Phone:  (919) 660-4353
Email Address:  send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2021):

  • Housecs 59.21, House course (sp top) Synopsis
    Physics 227, Th 07:00 PM-09:30 PM
  • Ics 335s.01, Decolonization Synopsis
    West duke 08a, TuTh 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
    (also cross-listed as GSF 335S.01, HISTORY 289S.01)
  • Ics 495s.01, Senior honors seminar Synopsis
    West duke 108a, Th 01:45 PM-04:15 PM
Office Hours:

Fall 2021

Weds 1-3pm 

  • Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities 2012
  • PhD University of Minnesota 2013
  • BA University of Southern California 2001

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.

Recent Publications
  1. Namakkal, J. Unsettling Utopia The Making and Unmaking of French India. June, 2021: 256 pages.  [abs]
  2. Bray, M; Namakkal, J; Riccò, G; Roubinek, E. "Editors’ introduction." Radical History Review 2020:138 (January, 2020): 1-9. [doi]
  3. Namakkal, J. "Decolonizing marriage and the family: The lives and letters of Ida, benoy, and Indira sarkar." Journal of Women'S History 31:2 (January, 2019): 124-147. [doi]  [abs]
  4. Namakkal, J. "The Terror of Decolonization: Exploring French India’s “Goonda Raj”." Interventions International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 19:3 (April, 2017): 338-357. [doi]  [abs]
  5. Namakkal, J. "European dreams, Tamil land: Auroville and the paradox of a postcolonial Utopia." Journal of the Study of Radicalism 6:1 (January, 2012): 59-88. [doi]

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