Sayori Ghoshal

Postdoctoral Fellow


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest


Refereed Journal Article

2021    ‘Race in South Asia: Colonialism, Nationalism and Modern Science’. History Compass 19 (2). 

Peer-reviewed Book Chapter

2020    ‘Race, Religion, and the Politics of Counting: Historicizing Hindu Nationalism’ in Nation, Nationalism and the Public Sphere: Religious Politics in India, ed. Ishita Banerjee-Dube and Avishek Ray. New Delhi: Sage. 83-105.

Journal Article

2016    ‘Naming the Muslim’. Economic and Political Weekly 51(13). 26 March. 12-13.

2014    “Making Sense of India’s ‘Democratic’ Choice”. Economic and Political Weekly 49 (24). Jun 14.


Focused on modern South Asia, I study the formation of social identities of communities. How do we come to recognize certain communities as minority, as tribes, as Dalits? I trace the evolution of ideas in the sciences, politics and in public debates to historicize how we come to think of communities the way we do. My current book project, tentatively titled “Calculating the Nation: How Difference became Minority in Modern India” traces the formation of minority as the conceptual foil against which the modern postcolonial nation emerged. I write on how simultaneous developments in early 20th century India, across race science, physical anthropology, statistics, and representational politics generated two contradictory ideals for the emerging nation-state: diversity and homogeneity. This contradiction was addressed through the recognition of minority as a contingent solution. I show how this history of contradiction and contingency informed the emergence of minority as a category in the postcolonial nation-state and continue to impinge on contemporary politics around communities identified as such. 

My research on contemporary politics of Hindu nationalism, and the intersection of religious, caste and racial differences have been published as journal articles in the Economic and Political Weekly and History Compass as well as an essay in an edited volume, Nation, Nationalism and the Public Sphere. My current research is funded by the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science & Technology (IHPST) and by the International Network for Research in Science and Belief in Society (INSBS), University of Birmingham.


PhD, South Asian Studies, Columbia University
MPhil, Social Sciences, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC)