Panel/Roundtable CFP: New Directions in the study of Indian Princely States

Yaqoob Bangash's picture

Panel/Roundtable Proposal: New Directions in the study of Indian Princely States

The study of the over five hundred princely states in South Asia which became part of either India or Pakistan in the aftermath of the Transfer of Power in 1947 has again hit a period of decline. This is despite the fact that research in the last couple of decades has shown that the states were very critical sites of not only 'Indian' i.e., local rule, but of experimentation with several new and innovative ideas. Recent scholarship has also shown how inter religious relations were much more cordial in princely states, leading to fewer riots and tensions. The role of the states--many of which were centuries, even millennia, old, in identity formation is something which still has an impact on the successor states. Understanding the states has also in many significant ways altered our view of the British Indian Empire and its complex web of governance models, many of which are still worthy of engagement.

Thus, this panel seeks to bring together scholars working on different aspects of the princely states. Work can be on any period from their initial interactions with the British, and the rise of the 'princely state' nomenclature, to their final integration in either India or Pakistan and their continued legacies. Work is especially welcomed which focuses on the smaller states and brings under assessment their engagement with diverse issues. 

Please send paper proposals to: by midnight GMT on August 5, together with a paper title, short abstract, and preference for the virtual or in-person conference. Replies will be sent by August 7, with the proposal, submitted by the August 9 deadline. 

Yaqoob Khan Bangash
Fulbright Fellow, South Asia Institute, Harvard University