Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Heidelberg
Website URL
global history, British Empire, modern and contemporary history of South Asia, India, Japan, media history, history of science, technology and medicine, labour history
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Personal Info

About Me

I am a historian of South Asia and the British Empire, with a secondary research interest in the history of Japan. I work primarily at the intersections of media, science, technology and medicine.

My research to date has focused on the incorporation of ‘new’ technologies of communication like the electric telegraph into journalism in the nineteenth century and the relationship between technologies of communication and public health/medical practice. My first book, The News of Empire: Telegraphy, Journalism, and the Politics of Reporting in Colonial India, c. 1830s-1900s, was published with Oxford University Press in 2016 and received the 2017 Eugenia M. Palmegiano Prize for the best book on the history of journalism in any area of the world from the American Historical Association. I am currently working on a new project funded by the German Research Foundation and titled “Archives of the Earth: Fossils, Science and Historical Imaginaries in Twentieth-Century India” ( This examines the (global) science behind the exploitation of natural resources in South Asia and the role of women therein.

I am also passionate about translation, across languages, writing genres and registers of presentation: when I have time, I translate Japanese scholarship into English and write stories about history for ‘smaller’ audiences. I was educated at the Universities of Tokyo and Heidelberg and worked for five years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford before returning to Heidelberg in 2018.

Recent Publications


Bonea, Amelia, Melissa Dickson, Sally Shuttleworth, and Jennifer Wallis. Anxious Times: Medicine and Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press, 2019.

Bonea, Amelia. The News of Empire: Telegraphy, Journalism, and the Politics of Reporting in Colonial India, c. 1830-1900. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016. (Winner, 2017 AHA Eugenia M. Palmegiano Prize for the History of Journalism)

Peer-reviewed articles, book chapters & encyclopedia essays

Bonea, Amelia. ‘An Imperial Ideology of News: News Values and Reporting about Japan in Colonial India’. In Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Press, vol. 2: Expansion and Evolution, 1800-1900, ed. by David Finkelstein. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forth. 2020.

Bonea, Amelia. ‘Technological Anxieties: Telecom Towers and Public Health Controversies in Urban India’. Contemporary South Asia, 25 (2017), no. 2, 196-211.

Bonea, Amelia. ‘Imperial Posts and Telegraphs’. In Encyclopedia of Empire, ed. by John M. MacKenzie, pp. 1-6. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2016.

Bonea, Amelia. ‘Telegraphy and Journalism in Colonial India, c. 1830s-1900s’. History Compass 12 (2014), no. 5, 387-397.

Bonea, Amelia. ‘“All the News That’s Fit to Print?” Reuter’s Telegraphic News Service in Colonial India’. In Global Communication Electric: Business, News and Politics in the World of Telegraphy, ed. by M. Michaela Hampf and Simone Mueller-Pohl, pp. 223-245. Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag, 2013.

Bonea, Amelia. ‘The “Indian Coolie Mission” in Fiji: Discourses of Labour, Religion and Race in the Australasian Methodist Missionary Review’. In Missions and Media: The Politics of Missionary Periodicals in the Long Nineteenth-Century, ed. by Felicity Jensz and Hanna Acke, pp. 169-186. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2013.

Bonea, Amelia. ‘19-seiki Indo ni okeru shimbun to gijutsu: Denshin wo jirei ni’ [Newspapers and Technology in Nineteenth-Century India: The Case of the Telegraph]. Journal of the Japanese Association for South Asian Studies 25 (2013): 128-151. (In Japanese)

Bonea, Amelia. ‘The Medium and Its Message: Reporting the Austro-Prussian War in the Times of India’. Historical Social Research 35 (2010), no. 1, 167-187.


Yamasaki, Akiko. ‘Handicrafts and Gender in Modern Japan’, trans. Amelia Bonea. Journal of Modern Craft 5 (2012), 259-274.

Children’s books

Bonea, Amelia. The Magic Mango. Pratham Books’ StoryWeaver, 2018. <>.



Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Asia, East Asia, India, Japan, United Kingdom
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, Modern, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Labor, Medicine, Politics, Science, Technology