Hi!! I am Monish, a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of California, Irvine. I am writing a dissertation that tries to understand the Bengal famine of 1770 and explains why it was one of the pivotal moments not just in Indian history but also world history. I am approaching this work from the perspectives of economic history, social history, political history, environmental and intellectual history. This work sees me directly engage with literature and debates on famines, floods, epidemics, colonization, capitalism, mercantilism, financial contagion, revolutions, and print media amongst others. Temporally this work is mostly on the eighteenth century but the historiography of the nineteenth century and twentieth century also play an important role. Spatially the work is located in South Asia, Western European, and North America. I began working on this project in the fall of 2018 and have visited over ten physical archives in the US, UK, and India, and used several online archives to carry out my work.
By now I have received three university degrees in history from three countries on three different continents and so I have worked on a variety of historical projects over the years. For example, the dissertation I wrote at the London School of Economics to get my master’s degree was on the Allied Strategic Bombing of Nazi Germany’s synthetic fuel supply. During my work with the Orange County Parks, I uncovered the inception of celebrity culture in Southern California by carrying out extensive archival research on a group of Polish immigrants that arrived in the region in the nineteenth century. Additionally, I have also carried out diasporic research on the South Asian community in Southern California and the Chinese community in Northeast India.