Dr Prashant Kidambi

Associate Professor in Colonial Urban History

P KidambiRoom 19, Marc Fitch House, Salisbury Road

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2766

Personal details

I trained as a historian at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, where I completed an MA and an MPhil before proceeding to the University of Oxford to undertake a doctorate. My DPhil thesis explored the nature of colonial governance and public culture in colonial Bombay during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

After holding a Junior Research Fellowship in History at Wolfson College, Oxford, I took up a lectureship in the School of History, University of Leicester, where I have taught ever since. I am also a member of the Centre for Urban History, a key research centre within the School.


Office hours: Semester 2, Thursday 3pm-5pm
Research day: Monday



  1. The Making of an Indian Metropolis: Colonial Governance and Public Culture in Bombay, 1890-1920 (Historical Urban Studies Series, Ashgate: Aldershot, 2007)

Journal articles and book chapters

  1. ‘Modernity and the City in Colonial India’, in Janaki Nair (ed.), Urbanization in India (New Delhi, forthcoming 2013).
  2. ‘Planning, the Colonial “Information Order” and the Bombay Census of 1901’, Planning Perspectives, Special Section: the Indian Census of 1901 (forthcoming, 2013).
  3. ‘Sport and the Imperial Bond: The 1911 All-India Cricket Tour of Great Britain’, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Special Issue: Sport and Diplomacy (forthcoming, 2013).
  4. ‘South Asia,’ in Peter Clark (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History (Oxford, 2013), pp. 561-80.
  5. ‘Nationalism and the City in India: colonial Bombay, c. 1890-1940’, Journal of Urban History, Special Issue: Cities and Nationalisms, 38: 5, September 2012, pp. 950-67.
  6. ‘Time, Temporality and History’, in Simon Gunn and Lucy Faire (eds.), Research Methods for History (Edinburgh, 2012), pp. 220-37.
  7. ‘Becoming Middle Class: The local history of a global story, Bombay c. 1890-1940’, in Barbara Weinstein and Abel Ricardo Lopez (eds.), We Shall be All: Towards a Global History of the Middle Class (Durham and London, 2012), pp. 141-60.
  8. ‘Hero, Celebrity and Icon: Sachin Tendulkar and Indian Public Culture’, in Anthony Bateman and Jeffrey Hill (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Cricket (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011), pp. 187-202.
  9. ‘From “social reform” to “social service”: civic activism and the urban poor in colonial Bombay, c. 1900-1920’, in Michael Mann and Carey Watt (eds.), Civilizing Missions in Colonial and Post-Colonial South Asia: From Improvement to Development (Anthem Press, London, 2011), pp. 217-38.
  10. ‘Consumption, domestic economy and the idea of the ‘middle class’ in late colonial Bombay’, in Douglas Haynes, Tirthankar Roy et al (eds.), Towards a History of Consumption in South Asia (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2009), pp. 108-35. Reprinted in Sanjay Joshi (ed.) Themes in Indian History: The Middle Class in Colonial India (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2010), pp. 132-153.
  11. ‘Contestation and Conflict: Workers’ Resistance and the Labour Problem in the Bombay Cotton Mills, c. 1898-1919’, in Prabhu Mahapatra and Marcel van der Linden (eds.), Towards Global History: New Comparisons (Tulika, New Delhi, 2009), pp. 106-27.
  12. ‘“An infection of locality”: plague, pythogenesis and the poor in Bombay, c. 1896-1905’. Urban History, 31: 2, August 2004, 249-267. This article was awarded the Dyos Prize by the editorial board of Urban History.
  13. ‘“The ultimate masters of the city”: police, public order and the poor in colonial Bombay, c. 1890-1914’. Crime, History and Societies, 8: 1, 2004, pp. 27-47. This article was awarded the Herman Diederiks Prize by the International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice (Paris).
  14. ‘Housing the poor in a colonial city: The Bombay Improvement Trust, c. 1898-1918’, Studies in History, New Series, 17:1, January-June 2001, pp. 57-79.


  1. ‘Mumbai Modern: Colonial Pasts and Postcolonial Predicaments’, Journal of Urban History (forthcoming, 2013).
  2. Gyan Prakash, Mumbai Fables, The American Historical Review, 116:4, October 2011.
  3. Crispin Bates, Subalterns and the Raj: South Asia since 1600, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 37: 2, June 2009.
  4. Ravi Kalia, Gandhinagar: Building National Identity in Postcolonial India, Urban History, 32: 2, 2005.
  5. Meera Menon and Neera Adarkar, One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices: The Mill Workers of Girangaon, The Book Review, 29: 4, April 2005.

Other writings

  1. ‘All-India’s Visit to Britain in 1911: The Most Extraordinary Tour’, in Scyld Berry (ed.), Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2011 (John Wisden and Co., London, 2011), pp. 74-84.


My research explores the interface between British imperialism and the history of modern South Asia. I am particularly interested in the imbrication of the global and the local in the making of South Asian cities. Here, my research focuses on the following key themes:

  • Trajectories of Indian capitalism
  • Nature of colonial governance
  • Social formation of the middle classes
  • History of urban public culture.

I also have a parallel interest in the place of sport, especially cricket, in the making of imperial and national identities within the British Empire.

Current projects

I am currently working on a research project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, on the history of colonial cricket tours in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras.


  • Modern South Asian history: economy, culture and politics from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries
  • British imperialism in Africa, Australia and Asia
  • The social history of modern sport

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