Berg Postdoctoral Fellow
Modern South Asia

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Niharika Yadav is a historian of modern South Asia.  Her research connects histories of political
and literary practices with studies of language, caste, and gender in postcolonial India. On a
broader scale, her work concerns global histories of democracy and socialism in the 20th

Yadav’s current book project, Languages of Socialism: Caste and Democracy in Postcolonial
India, 1930-1960, examines how a range of actors in the Marathi and Hindi language public
spheres translated and reimagined a global political language of “democratic socialism” into new
forms—as social theory, literary aesthetic, and mass movement. It explores the trajectories of
democratic socialism through a social history of political life, centered on regional elites whose
organizations and movements traversed the literary and political worlds of northern and western
India. Drawing from postcolonial theory, global history of socialism, and studies of caste in
South Asia, it offers a richly contextualized account of the ideas and practices shaping
postcolonial democracy.

Yadav has extensive experience teaching South Asian and global history to students in India and
the United States, as well as to learners of all backgrounds from across the world in her role as
the Teaching Fellows Co-Ordinator (2022-2023) of the Global History Lab at Princeton
University. At Macalester, she will be teaching introductory courses in early modern, colonial,
and contemporary South Asian history. She is also excited to offer intermediate and advanced
courses on the global history of caste, sexual economies of modern India, and a course exploring
the intersections of democracy, development, and decolonization in South Asia.

Before coming to Macalester, Yadav completed a Ph.D. in History at Princeton University and
an M.Phil. in History at the University of Delhi. Her work has been supported by Princeton’s
University Center for Human Values.

In her spare time, Yadav likes, predictably enough, to read and occasionally hosts interviews
about books she is reading for the New Books Network.