CELIA (Collaborative Education, Leadership, and Innovation in the Arts)

Arvind Elangovan

Associate Professor, History
Recognition Year: 

Arvind Elangovan, Ph.D., has been teaching in the Department of History since earning his Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago in 2012. He is interested in the intersections between political and constitutional histories in late-colonial South Asia. His first book, Norms and Politics: Sir Benegal Narsing Rau in the Making of the Indian Constitution, 1935–50 (Oxford University Press, New Delhi), documented the historical process of the framing of the Indian constitution from the point of view of a distinguished colonial bureaucrat, Sir B. N. Rau, as opposed to seeing it from conventional nationalist or imperialist perspectives. The book argues that one cannot separate histories of power from the process of constitution making, which often, ironically, is presented as a process that occurred by skirting political conflicts. Politics of power was at the heart of the constitution. Elangovan is currently engaged in a new project that examines the powerful role that religious minorities played in shaping the nature of the Indian republic in the 20th century. Most recently he was awarded a research fellowship by the International Center for Advanced Studies, a program based in Germany and in India, to pursue this project. At Wright State, he has been actively involved in organizing talks at the department and university levels by inviting speakers from within the university as well as outside, including scholars visiting from India. These talks, organized often in collaboration with his colleagues, have greatly contributed to generating discussion on topical and historical matters concerning both the United States and South Asia. Elangovan is thankful to all supporting centers and departments for making such discussions possible and, in particular, to CELIA for continuing the mission of generating critical dialogues on some of the most pressing matters of today.


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