Participant Info

First Name
Arunima
Last Name
Datta
Affiliation
Idaho State University
Website URL
https://www.isu.edu/history/about/faculty-and-staff/facultyandstaff/arunima-datta.html
Keywords
South and Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean Studies, British History, Migration History, Gender and Women’s History
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

Photo
About Me

I am a historian of Global South and Southeast Asia, Britain, and the British Empire. My main area of research interest focuses on the transnational mobility of South and Southeast Asians in the colonial period (nineteenth and twentieth century) across different parts of the British Empire. Much of my research has simultaneously also focused on themes of labor history, transnational Indian nationalism, women’s and gender history.

My first monograph, Fleeting Agencies in a Rubber Empire: Indian Coolie Women in British Malaya, was recently published with Cambridge University Press. I have published a number of articles and chapters concerning South and Southeast Asian labor, migration, and women’s histories. I have also published a number of articles on British history, the most recent ones focused on – traveling ayahs (nannies) in Britain, the history of Knocker ups in industrial Britain, and the transnational history of British planters’ wives.

My current research project is centered around the migration and mobility of Indian Traveling Ayahs (traveling nannies) across the British Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

I also serve as a member of the editorial board for the journal Gender & History and as an Associate Editor of Britain and the World Journal.

Recent Publications

Books:

Fleeting Agencies: A Social History of Indian Coolie Women in British Malaya, Cambridge University Press (2021).

Articles:

“Responses to Travelling Indian Ayahs in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Britain,” Journal of Historical Geography, 71 (2021): 94-103.

“Knocker Ups: A Social History of Waking up in Victorian Britain’s Industrial Towns,” Journal of Victorian Culture, 25:3 (2020): 331–348. -Selected as JVC Editor’s Choice Article– Summer 2020.

“Negotiating Gendered Spaces in Colonial Press: Wives of European Planters in British Malaya,” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 18:3 (2017).

“Immorality’, Nationalism and the Colonial State in British Malaya: Indian ‘coolie’ women’s intimate lives as ideological battleground,” Journal of Women’s History Review, 25:4 (2016): 584-601.

“Social Memory and Indian Women from Malaya and Singapore in the Rani of Jhansi Regiment,” Journal of Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 88:2 (2015): 77-103.

 

Articles in history magazines and blogs

“Women in the business of waking up industrial Britain” Journal of Victorian Culture Online (The blog and online platform of the Journal of Victorian Culture), June 2020.

“Shampoo Empire: Bengali Migrant’s Trade in Britain,” History Today, 70:3 (March 2020): 40-49.

“Punkhawallahs: Keeping British India Cool,” in History Today, 69:9 (September 2019): 54-63.

-Named as one of the best articles for History Today, 2019.         (https://www.historytoday.com/archive/feature/best-articles-2019)

Media Coverage
Country Focus
India, Malaysia, Singapore, Britain
Expertise by Geography
Asia, England, India, Southeast Asia
Expertise by Chronology
18th century, 19th century, Modern, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Family, Gender, Labor, Libraries & Archives, Migration & Immigration, Public History, Race, Women, World War I, World War II