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Nandini Bhattacharya trained in JNU (Delhi) for her first degrees in History and completed her PhD at UCL, London. Thereafter she taught urban colonial history at the University of Leicester and history of medicine at Yale University (USA) before joining the University of Dundee in 2013 as Lecturer in History. Her expertise is in the histories of colonial science and medicine, urban history, and modern histories of consumption, within the broader paradigm of modern South Asian history. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Her research queries have focussed on the interstices of the state, colonial society, and the politics of science and medicine in modern India. Her first monograph, Contagion and Enclaves: Tropical Medicine in Colonial India (2012) was the first scholarly work to historicise hill stations and tea plantations as colonial enclaves in modern India. It highlighted how two different colonial habitations were entangled in medical, official, and entrepreneurial policy and praxis to fundamentally transform the ecology and society of the eastern Himalayas.
Her current research projects include a Wellcome Trust funded history of the pharmaceutical industry in modern India. Her second monograph is based on this project and titled Disparate Remedies: Making Medicines in Modern India. Her other research interests include the social history of alcohol and comparative histories of migrant labour in the global South. Her research has been funded by several institutions including the Wellcome Trust, Carnegie Trust, and the Science History Foundation. She is currently a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and sits on the editorial board of the Notes and Records of the Royal Society.
Nandini presently serves as the Director of the Scottish Centre for Global History at the School of Humanities.
Her teaching is based on her expertise in the history of the British Empire and the colonial histories of modern science, technology and medicine. These include the modules ‘The Jewel and the Crown’ (Level 3) and ‘Colonialism, Science and Medicine in Modern India.’ (Level 4). She jointly convenes ‘Imperialism and Decolonisation’ (Level 2) and the postgraduate core module ‘Global Empires’. She has been regularly nominated for teaching awards at the University and received the Jim Stewart Best Tutor award at the School of Humanities in 2019/20.