Dr Jay Sarkar
- Senior Lecturer in Economic and Social History (Economic & Social History)
I joined the University of Glasgow in July 2022, after spending nearly a decade in the northeastern United States as a tenure-track assistant professor at Boston University, postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University, MIT, and Dartmouth College, and predoctoral fellow at Yale University. Most recently, I was a fellow at the University of Edinburgh's Institute for the Advanced Studies in the Humanities.
My first book, Ploughshares and Swords: India’s Nuclear Program in the Global Cold War (Cornell University Press, 2022) examines India’s nuclear and space programmes through the prisms of technopolitics and territoriality. It shows how the programmes served goals of economic modernity and geopolitics with consequences for democratic accountability. The book is available in paperback, hardcover, and open access.
At present, I am writing two books. My second book, Atomic Capitalism. A Global History (under contract with Princeton University Press) explores the role of corporations and governments in land expropriation, labor exploitation, and debt generation from the 1890s to the 1990s through mining, explosions, and energy sites of nuclear infrastructures.
The next book, Partition Machine. From South Asia to the World, is a study of entangled social, economic, and political histories of partitions from the 1890s to the 1970s. By focusing on stateless people, it investigates the travel itinerary of the idea and practice of territorial divisions from the borderlands of South Asia to the world.
Growing up in an economist-led household, my early act of rebellion was to not become one. After trying various disciplines, I felt most at home in History, in which I completed a PhD at the Graduate Institute Geneva in Switzerland in 2014, after an MRes. (M2R) in Sociology from the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne in France in 2010.
I was born and raised in Calcutta, India. I would be remiss if I did not mention that my choice of places for work and study were deeply influenced by my identity as an openly queer person for most of my adult life.
- Connected partitions
- Decolonisation as a process
- Global histories of capitalism
- Nuclear infrastructures
Further details about my research can be found on my personal website: www.JayitaSarkar.com.
British Academy Conferences Grant to host “Partition Machine: The 1923 Treaty of Lausanne 100 Years Later,” at the University of Glasgow (£20,000, PI), 2023
Hoover Institution, Silas Palmer research grant for archival research (US$ 2,500), 2022
Swiss National Science Foundation, Open Access Book Grant, (14,000 CHF), 2021
Stanton Foundation Applied History Course Development Grant at Boston University (US$ 34,909), 2019
Stanton Foundation Nuclear Course Development Grant at Boston University (Co-PI, US$ 50,000), 2017
Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, Research Fellowship (13,000 NOK), 2014
Albert Gallatin Pre-doctoral Fellowship in International Affairs at Yale University, (US$ 14,000), 2013
Hans Wilsdorf Foundation Doctoral Scholarship at Graduate Institute Geneva (20,000 CHF), 2010–11
Regional Council of Paris Region Masters Scholarship, University of Paris IV-Sorbonne (10,000 EUR), 2009–10
I welcome PhD students interested in the following research themes:
- Colonial capitalism & Trans-imperial histories, late 19th & 20th centuries
- Global South Asia, late 19th & 20th centuries
- Nuclear politics: economics, energy, explosions, and waste
Current PhD students:
- Duanyi Yi (Politics & IR): How unique was China's Nuclear Strategy, 1964–1993.
Semester 1, 2022
- ESH 4087, Global South Asia: Level 4/Honours-level
- ESH Level 1A: Contributor on themes concerning colonialism, slavery, empires, and inequality
Semester 2, 2023
- ESH 5069, Decolonisation & International Economic Relations: Postgraduate taught
- ESH Level 1B: Contributor
Professional activities & recognition
Prizes, awards & distinctions
- 07/2022: Elected Fellow (Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland)
- 07/2022: Conferences Award 2023/24, "Partition Machine," at University of Glasgow, £20,000, PI (British Academy)
- 2019: Grand Prize Winner, US$ 5,000, co-winner (Doreen and Jim McElvany Nonproliferation Challenge)
- 06/2022 - 08/2022: University of Edinburgh, Institute for the Advanced Studies in the Humanities
- 09/2020 - 06/2021: Harvard University, Weatherhead Initiative on Global History
- 09/2020 - 06/2021: Harvard Kennedy School, Ernest May Fellowship in History & Policy
- 09/2018 - 06/2019: Dartmouth College, Niehaus Postdoctoral Fellow
- 08/2016 - 06/2017: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SNSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow
- 09/2015 - 05/2016: Harvard Kennedy School, Managing the Atom Postdoctoral Fellowship
- 08/2014 - 06/2015: Harvard Kennedy School, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellowship
Grant committees & research advisory boards
- 2021 - 2024: Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, William Appleman Williams Emerging Scholar Research Grant Committee
- 2022 - present: Arms Control Association, Board of Directors
- 2020 - 2021: American Institute of Bangladesh Studies, Board of Trustees
- 2018 - 2020: Society for the History of Technology, Joan Cahalin Robinson Prize Committee Member
- 2019 - 2019: American Academy of Berlin, Grant Application Reviewer
- 2017 - 2017: Carnegie Corporation of New York, Grant Application Reviewer
- 2015 - 2015: Smith Richardson Foundation, Grant Application Reviewer
- 09/2022 - present: Cold War History
Professional & learned societies
- 2020 - 2023: Internationalization Task Force Member, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
- 2021 - 2021: Officer-at-Large, Diplomatic Studies Section (DPLST), International Studies Association
- 2018 - 2020: Officer-at-Large, South Asia in World Politics Section (SAWP), International Studies Association
- 2019 - 2019: Program Committee Member, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
Selected international presentations
- 10/03/2022: Book Talk, CISAC, Nuclear Reading Group (Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA)
- 14/02/2022: Weatherhead Initiative on Global History Seminar (Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
- 18/11/2021: Book Talk, Security Studies Seminar (Carnegie India, New Delhi, India)
- 07/04/2021: Science and Global Security Seminar (Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA)
- 30/11/2020: Science, Technology, and Society Circle (Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Founding Director, Global Decolonization Initiative at Boston University, May 2020-May 2021.
More information can be found here: https://www.globaldecolonization.org/