Manu Bhagavan is a specialist on modern India, focusing on the twentieth-century late-colonial and post-colonial periods, with particular interests in human rights, (inter)nationalism, and questions of sovereignty. Manu is Professor of History and Human Rights at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, the City University of New York, where at the undergraduate level he lectures on modern world history and on modern South Asian history, and offers seminars on Gandhi, modern India, and violence and ethnic conflict. His graduate classes focus on human rights and internationalism.
Manu’s most recent book is the critically acclaimed The Peacemakers / India and the Quest for One World, published by HarperCollins India in 2012 and updated and expanded by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013. Set against the backdrop of World War II, Indian independence and decolonization, and the Cold War, this first-of-its-kind international history, based on seven years of research in twenty archives on three continents, tells the story of India’s quest to build consensus around the framework of “human rights,” to bridge the divisions between East and West, between capitalist and communist, and to create “one world” free of empire, poverty, exploitation, and war.
Manu’s other major publications, all with Oxford University Press, include Sovereign Spheres (2003), Heterotopias (editor, 2010), and Speaking Truth to Power and Claiming Power from Below (co-edited with Anne Feldhaus, 2009, with multiple reprints). Manu has also published articles in The Journal of Asian Studies, Modern Asian Studies, The Indian Economic and Social History Review, and the Economic and Political Weekly, among other places. He reviews books for numerous publications and has maintained a blog on CNN-IBN. Manu has served as the President of the Society for Advancing the History of South Asia and is also the recipient of a 2006 fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. Manu serves as an undergraduate advisor in the Hunter History Department and recently completed a term as Chair of the Human Rights Program at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute.
Manu regularly comments in the media about matters related to India, foreign relations, human rights, and the United Nations. Most recently, he wrote a piece on global authoritarianism for Quartz that went viral internationally and was translated into Czech (partially) and German, the latter for the lead, cover article of the May 2016 issue of the Berliner Republik magazine. His other interviews or appearances include: Washington Post, CNBC, National Public Radio (NPR), CNN-IBN, BBC World Radio, Press TV, World Citizen Radio, INI9, HuffPost Live, and Al Jazeera English. Manu lives in New York.
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