Sharmadip Basu

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Colonialism and Culture
  • Sound and Society
  • Music and Modernities
  • South Asian American Diaspora
  • Global Sixties
  • Historiography
  • Critical Theory
  • Time and Temporalities


Sharmadip (Toy as he is fondly known) obtained his doctorate degree from the social science programme at Syracuse University. His undergraduate training and early graduate training were in Economics, with a BSc degree from Calcutta University and an MA degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. He also has an MPhil in American Studies from JNU.

Sharmadip’s scholarship and research lie at the disciplinary intersection of History, Cultural Studies, and Cultural Anthropology. Broadly, they can be disaggregated into four interrelated areas of thematic and theoretical interest: culture and colonialism, knowledge and power, music and society, and aesthetics and politics in the modern world, specifically in colonial and post-colonial South Asia. 

Prior to joining Azim Premji University, he taught in various capacities at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Syracuse University.

At Azim Premji University, Sharmadip is currently engaged in co-designing two aspects of the undergraduate curriculum for the School of Arts and Sciences: (i) the Understanding India component of the core curriculum; and (ii) the Historical Studies component of the major in Humanities.



Journal Articles

  • Basu, S. (2012). Between rock and a hard place: Cultural politics of 1970s rock music in Calcutta. South Asian Popular Culture, 10(3), 285 – 294.
  • Basu, S. (2000). The blossoming of the anti-Vietnam war movement and music as an instrument of anti-war protest in America: 1960 – 1970. Matrix: E‑Journal of International Relations. 1(2). http://​jnu​-matrix​.tri​pod​.com/​m​u​s​i​c​.html

Chapter in Edited Book

  • Basu, S. (2008). When sang the hybrid muse: Fusion’ music in late-eighteenth century India. In D. Bhattacharya (Ed.), Of Matters Modern: Experience of Modernity in Colonial and Postcolonial South Asia (pp.18 – 77). Seagull Books.

Book Reviews

  • Basu, S. (2002). [Review of Kaleidoscopic Ethnicity: International Migration and the Reconstruction of Community Identity in India, by P. Kurien]. South Asia Center Newsletter, Syracuse University.
  • Basu, S. (2002). [Review of Distant Sovereignty: National Imperialism and the Origins of British India, by S. Sen]. South Asia Center Newsletter, Syracuse University.

Online Articles

Other Assignments

  • Co-Curator. (2014, March 24 – April 21). A place of one’s own: Exploring America’s South Asian Diaspora, Hatcher library gallery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 
  • Workshop Facilitator. (2012, January). The idea of politics, South Asian Awareness Network Conference, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.