Dr. V. Rajesh
Associate Professor, Head, Humanities & Social Sciences

Email rajeshv(AT)iisermohali.ac.in
Phone +91 172 2293163
Fax +91 172 2240266
Personal Page                                                               
Research Area
Intellectual History, Literary Historiography, South Asian Literary Cultures
Research Focus

I am currently investigating the history of progressive writers movement in south India and the intellectual history of left in Tamilnadu. Though at all India level the progressive writers association was formed back in late 1930s there are striking regional variations whose history is yet to be written. The left cultural intervention in Tamilnadu predate the formation of progressive writers association in the state but the latter marks a significant departure for the history of left that has contested both the dominant Dravidian ideology/politics and Hindu nationalism. This may not have electoral ramification for the left but leave a deep impact on civil society activism and secularization of Tamil society.

My doctoral dissertation dealt with the history of (re)constitution of Tamil literary classics - Sangam literature - during the nineteenth and early twentieth century colonial Madras. The historical method involved not just reading and interpreting the editions of classics published in the colonial period but a range of sources from private correspondence of editors of classics, biographies and autobiographies of Tamil scholars, colonial records, writings of missionary-orientalists, newspapers and vernacular journals. A revised version of the dissertation is published by Cambridge University Press India.

Selected Publications

  • (Ed) The Russian Revolution and India: Compilation from Soviet Land Magazine and Other Sources, Aakar Books, New Delhi, 2019. (Co-Editor)
  • 'Reading M.K. Gandhi's Hind Swaraj in Classroom: Challenges Confronting Pedagogy and Intellectual History', Social Change and Development, Volume XV, January 2018, pp. 82-89.
  • 'Beyond the Politics of Identity: The Left and the Politics of Caste and Identity in Tamil Nadu, 1920-63', South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 38, 4, 2015, pp. 543-557. (with Ravi Vaitheespara)
  • Manuscripts, Memory and History: Classical Tamil Literature in Colonial India, Cambridge University Press India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, 2014.