Anwesha Roy


Departmental Lecturer in Indian History and Culture

Faculty / College Address:

Room 114, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies / St. Cross College


Research Interests:

  • Social and Political Histories of South Asia, with particular focus on India
  • Communalism and identity formations
  • Histories of violence

Current Projects:

I am currently working on my second monograph on the Quit India movement in Bengal between 1942-45, where I look at the role played by war rumours and perceptions about a failing colonial state in providing fuel for the movement. The focus of the book will be to move away from Gandhi and the Congress and look at everyday practices by the common ‘people’ during the Second World War that fed nationalist sentiments and made the Quit India Movement possible in the province.

Courses Taught:

  • Gender in Indian History and Society, 1800-present (Michaelmas Term)
  • Social History of Colonial India, 1800-1947 (Hilary Term)
  • South Asia Core Course (Team taught)
  • Qualitative Methods in Literature, Language and History (Team taught with Professor Imre Bangha)

Recent Publications:


  • Making Peace, Making Riots: Communalism and Communal Violence, Bengal 1940-47 (Cambridge University Press, New Delhi, 2018)

Journal Articles:

  • ‘Anatomy of a Riot: The Great Calcutta Killing, August 1946’, Bengal Past and Present (Journal of the Calcutta Historical Society), Volume 128, 2011
  • ‘The Second World War and the Prospect of Quit India in Bengal: Perceptions, Rumours and Revolutionary Parties’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, published online on 9th February 2021 (print April 2021, Issue 44/2).

Book Chapters:

  • ‘Calcutta and its Struggle for Peace: Anti-Communal Resistance, 1946-47’ in Tanika Sarkar and Sekhar Bandyopadhyay (eds.) Calcutta, The Stormy Decades (Social Science Press, New Delhi, 2015)
  • ‘A Test of Faith? The Mahatma and his Tryst With Bengal, 1946-47’, in David Hardiman (ed.) Non Violence in Modern Indian History (Orient Black Swan, New Delhi, 2017)

Blog Posts:

‘It’s time to stop looking for the Mahatma’, LSE International History Blog, March 2021

Stop Looking for the Mahatma | LSE International History


BBC History Extra Podcast, July 2022 

Anwesha Roy