Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Simonow (she/her)
South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University
Website URL
History of Modern South Asia, Colonialism, Anticolonialism, Global and Transnational History, Women's and Gender History, History of Famine, Humanitarianism and Development
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a historian and assistant professor in Heidelberg, Germany. I specialize in the history of modern South Asia and have published on the history of food aid, famine relief and development. To broaden my research profile and feed my long-standing interest in the history of anticolonial movements, I am currently working on my second book on the sexual history of Indian anticolonial internationalism. Using untapped family archives, I bring to light the many exclusions in the history of decolonization and Indian nation-building that have obscured the intimate, personal and sexual nature of these historical and political undertakings.

I have been teaching seminars on the history of women’s movements, feminism, sexuality and colonialism, the history of Indo-German Entanglement, Development and Humanitarianism.

Recent Publications

2023: Ending Famine in India. A Transnational History of Food Aid and Development, ca. 1890-1950 (Leiden University Press, 2023).

2022: “American Humanitarianism in Colonial South Asia: The Famine Relief of the American Marathi Mission in Bombay, 1896–1900” in Harald Fischer-Tiné and Nico Slate (eds), The United States and South Asia from the Age of Empire to Decolonization: A History of Entanglements (Leiden University Press, 2022), 85-106.

2021: “Famine relief in colonial South Asia, 1858–1947: Regional and global perspectives” in Maria Framke and Harald Fischer-Tiné (eds), Routledge Handbook of the History of Colonialism in South Asia (Routledge, 2021), 497-509.

2021: “The Rise and Demise of Multi-Purpose Food in India: Food Technology, Population Control and Nutritional Development in the Post-War Era, c. 1944–66,” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 44,1 (2021), 167-84.

2020: “The Great Bengal Famine in Britain: Metropolitan Campaigning for Food Relief and the End of Empire, 1943–44.” The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 48,1 (2020), 168-197.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
South Asia, North America, Europe
Expertise by Geography
Asia, India, North America, United Kingdom, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Emancipation, Food History, Gender, Rebellion & Revolution, Science, Sexuality, Women