Adhitya Dhanapal

History Department
Class of 2024

Adhitya's research on alternative models of development in South India complicates the neat teleological narrative that moves from Empire to a unified nation-state over the course of the first half of the 20th century. By foregrounding the experiences of handloom workers as artisanal entrepreneurs, he situates the emergence of capitalism in South Asia in relation to the broader experience of labor-intensive industrialization, with special emphasis on Indo-Japanese trade relations. Thus, his research moves past the emphasis on British imperial networks and situates questions of Decolonization and Developmentalism within the broader Indo-Pacific context. Besides his dissertation, Adhitya is also interested in making archival materials, especially non-Roman script languages from the Global South, more accessible to a broader community of scholars, researchers and users. He has been working at the South Asian Ephemera Collection at Princeton University Library since 2020. He is currently a University Administrative Fellow based out of Firestone Library.

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