Seeing the People in Mughal India

Abhishek Kaicker is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley and an editor of the Journal of South Asian Intellectual History. He has a PhD from Columbia University, an MA from the University of British Columbia, and a BA from Macalester College.

A historian of Persianate South Asia with expertise in the history of the Mughal empire, Professor Kaicker is interested in questions of intellectual history, the history of concepts, early modern global history, and more generally in the continuities between precolonial and postcolonial South Asia. His first book, The King the People: Sovereignty and Popular Politics in Mughal Delhi, published in 2020, shows how ordinary urbanites emerged as assertive political subjects in the Mughal capital of Shahjahanabad (Delhi) over the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Professor Kaicker is currently engaged in two major research projects: one, a prehistory of the British conquest of Bengal in 1757 from the perspective of the Mughal empire; and another on the transformation of Mughal modes of popular politics into modern modes of communalism in North India under colonial rule in the 18th and 19th centuries. He is also in the process of writing a biography of Anand Ram Mukhlis, an eighteenth-century courtier and scribe in Delhi.

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