Ritwik Ranjan

Biography and/or project
My dissertation, defended at Princeton in 2016, provided analyses of colonial South Asian texts and demonstrated that colonial intellectuals responded to the western injunction to produce historiography by finding means to disavow such injunctions. The dissertation concludes by reflecting on the politically enabling aspects of these disavowals, effected either by means of a nationalist mimeticist strategy of subject formation or by recourse to history- repudiating fiction, and comments on what this history of disavowals may mean for contemporary postcolonial rethinking of historical discourse. The dissertation won the ICHTH INTERNATIONAL DOCTORAL DISSERTATION PRIZE FOR THE HISTORY AND THEORY OF HISTORIOGRAPHY (awarded for dissertations defended in 2015,2016 and 2017).  

Select Publications

  • "Postcoloniality and the two sites of historicity." History and Theory, 56 (1):38-53 (2017).
  • "Mimeticism and Historiography: The Making of a Hindu Past in the Thought of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay." South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 41:1, 1-17 (2018).
  • “Premchand and the climax manqué of Indian history.” In On Modern Indian Sensibilities: Culture, Politics, History, edited by Ishita Banerjee-Dube, Sarvani Gooptu, 142-58. New York: Routledge, 2018.