Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Dr Souvik Naha

Souvik Naha completed his MA and MPhil in Modern History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and obtained his PhD in History at ETH Zurich in 2017. His thesis explored the network of mediated relationships constituted by the mass media, readers and spectators of cricket in India, in order to analyse how public culture is mobilised around sport. He is the editor of Soccer & Society. He has edited three collections of essays, relating to the FIFA World Cup (2018), the application of global and transnational history methods to the study of sport (2018) and ethics in sport governance (2019), and published many peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. The scholarships and research grants he has received include the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship for doctoral research and the Design History Society’s Strategic Research Grant for an individual project.

During his fellowship, Dr Naha will develop his current research on the public perception of illness, epidemics, medical science, medical institutions and professions such as surgery, midwifery and nursing in colonial India (1858-1947). In particular, he will examine the literary expression of the concept and functioning of medicine, diseases, aetiology, prevention, cure, hospitals and community care in the Bengal Presidency. His research will build on the historiography of colonial medicine by taking a bottom-up approach to understanding how colonial subjects across class, caste and gender engaged with medicine in their everyday life, and what the long term history of this engagement reveals about public health in colonial India. He intends to prepare an article on the agency of physicians in the emergence of cross-cultural medicine and healthcare in colonial Bengal.