Dr Prashant Kidambi

Associate Professor in Colonial Urban History

  • P KidambiOffice: Attenborough 804
  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2766
  • Feedback and Support Times (Semester 2, 2020-21): By appointment only
  • Dissertation Hour (Semester 2, 2020-21): By appointment only

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. 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.



  1. Cricket Country: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire (Oxford: OUP, 2019).
  2. Cricket Country: The Untold History of the First All India Team (Delhi: Penguin Random House India, 2019)
  3. The Making of an Indian Metropolis: Colonial Governance and Public Culture in Bombay, 1890-1920 (Historical Urban Studies Series, Ashgate: Aldershot, 2007; Routledge, Paperback, 2016)

Edited Books

Lead editor (with Manjiri Kamat and Rachel Dwyer), Bombay Before Mumbai: Essays in Honour of Jim Masselos (Hurst, UK, 2019; OUP USA, 2019; Penguin Random House India, 2019)


  1. The Petition as Event: Colonial Bombay, circa 1889-1914’, in Robert Travers and Rohit De (eds), Modern Asian Studies, Special Issue: Petitions in South Asia, 53:1 (January 2019), pp. 203-39.
  2. ‘Sport and the Imperial Bond: the 1911 All-India cricket tour of Great Britain’, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Special Issue: Sport and Diplomacy, 8: 3-4, 2013, pp. 261-285.
  3. ‘Planning, the Colonial Information Order and the Bombay Census of 1901’, Planning Perspectives, Special Section: the Indian Census of 1901, 28:1, 2013, pp. 117-123.
  4. ‘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.
  5. ‘An infection of locality: plague, pythogenesis and the poor in Bombay, c. 1896-1905’, Urban History, 31: 2, August 2004, 249-267. Awarded the Dyos Prize by the editorial board of Urban History. Reprinted in R. Sweet (ed.), Urban History: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies, Vol. III (Routledge, 2016).
  6. ‘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. Awarded the Herman Diederiks Prize by the International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice (Paris).
  7. ‘Housing the poor in a colonial city: the Bombay Improvement Trust, c. 1898-1918’, Studies in History, New Series, 17:1, 2001, pp. 57-79.


  1. ‘Modernity and the City in Colonial India’, in Janaki Nair (ed.), Urbanization in India: Colonial Cities, Indira Gandhi National Open University Reader, Vol.2, Unit 37 (New Delhi, 2014), pp. 5-18.
  2. ‘South Asia’, in Peter Clark (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History (Oxford, 2013; paperback edn, 2016), pp. 561-80.
  3. ‘Becoming Middle Class: the local history of a global story, colonial Bombay c. 1890-1940’, in Barbara Weinstein and Abel Ricardo Lopez (eds), The Making of the Middle Class: Toward a Transnational History (Duke University Press, 2012), pp. 141-60.
  4. ‘Time, Temporality and History’, in Simon Gunn and Lucy Faire (eds), Research Methods for History (Edinburgh University Press, 2012; second edition 2016), pp. 220-237.
  5. ‘Hero, Celebrity, Icon: Sachin Tendulkar and Indian public culture’, in Anthony Bateman and Jeffrey Hill (eds), Cambridge Companion to Cricket (Cambridge, 2011), pp. 187-202.
  6. ‘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.
  7. 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. 132-53.
  8. 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), Labour Matters: Towards Global Histories (Tulika, New Delhi, 2009), pp. 106-27.


  1. Patrick Joyce, State of Freedom: a social history of the British state, in Cultural and Social History, November 2016, 13:2, pp. 155-60.
  2. ‘Mumbai Modern: colonial pasts and postcolonial predicaments’, Journal of Urban History, 39:5, 2013, pp. 1003-11.


  1. Aparna Balachandran, Rashmi Pant, and Bhavani Raman, eds. 2018. Iiterations of Law: Legal Histories from India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, Contributions to India Sociology, 53:1 (2019), pp. 2017-20.
  2. Mrinalini Rajagopalan, Building Histories: The Archival and Affective Lives of Five Monuments in Modern Delhi Chicago University of Chicago Press 2016, American Historical Review, 123:2 (April 2018), pp. 559-60.
  3. David A. Johnson, New Delhi: The Last Imperial City, The American Historical Review, 121:3, 2016, pp. 916-17.
  4. Nikhil Rao, House But No Garden: Apartment Living in Bombay’s Suburbs, The American Historical Review, 119:3, 2014, pp. 971-72.
  5. Partho Datta, Planning the City: Urbanization and Reform in Calcutta, c. 1800-1940 Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 69: 2, 2014, pp. 557-560.
  6. Gyan Prakash, Mumbai Fables, The American Historical Review, 116:4, 2011, p. 1109.
  7. Crispin Bates, Subalterns and the Raj: South Asia since 1600, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 37: 2, June 2009.
  8. Ravi Kalia, Gandhinagar: Building National Identity in Postcolonial India, Urban History, 32: 2, 2005.


  1. ‘War Stops Play’, Wisden India Almanack 2015 (John Wisden & Co., Bloomsbury, 2015), pp. 65-75.
  2. The Most Extraordinary Tour’, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack (John Wisden & Co., Bloomsbury, 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.


  • 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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