Indo-Pacific Entanglements: Japan and the Development of Capitalism in Madras (1904-64)

Economic History Workshop
Apr 3, 2023, 12:00 pm1:20 pm
Room 210 | Dickinson Hall
Princeton University faculty, staff, and students


Event Description

This workshop will be offered in hybrid format both on Zoom and in-person. Registration is required to attend in either format. The pre-circulated paper will be distributed to those who register for the workshop.

Zoom Registration

In-Person Registration*

*A boxed lunch will be provided to those who register in-person for the workshop. Boxed lunches will be available prior to and after the workshop. We kindly ask that workshop attendees refrain from eating during the workshop.

We kindly ask all in-person attendees please follow the current University Covid-19 guidelines.

Speaker: Adhitya Dhanapal, Princeton University

Commentator: Robert Yee, Princeton University

Adhitya studies the handloom textile economy in Southern India between 1900-1965. His PhD dissertation looks at how the production and consumption of certain 'craft' objects were integral to the formation of a national, mostly Gandhian and a regional, Dravidian political movement in modern India. The dissertation investigates how small-scale weavers overcame the obstacles of colonialism and large-scale industrial capitalism by organizing themselves as co-operatives or caste associations to tap into domestic and international markets. This dissertation seeks to emphasize the centrality of small businesses in the development of capitalism and the dynamics of (de)colonization in 20th century India.

Prior to joining Princeton University, Adhitya received a MA in Art History and a MPhil in History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He was also involved with the Multi-Volume Documentation Project of the Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly, the Viceroy's House) that extensively documented, catalogued and conducted research on various art/craft objects and architectural features that forms the estate of the President of India.

In addition to his PhD research, Adhitya also works at Princeton's Firestone Library where he supports the curation and cataloging of the South Asia Collections. This relates to his interests in how art, craft, and other objects create and present alternative ways of understanding and experiencing the world around us. 


The Economic History Workshop (EHW) is a monthly seminar series for Princeton students and faculty interested in the study of economic history. Co-sponsored by the Center for Collaborative History and the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy & Finance, the workshop provides a forum for scholars to present their findings and receive feedback on their research in a wide array of subfields, such as financial, business, labor, legal, intellectual, technological, and social history. Open to faculty, scholars, and students of Princeton University, Rutgers University, and the Institute for Advanced Study.

  • Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy & Finance
  • Economic History Workshop
  • Center for Collaborative History