Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow 2021 - 2022
PhD, Waseda University, 2019
Maumita Banerjee is a historian of modern Asia, specializing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. She focuses on histories of state formation and sartorial politics in Japan and India. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at Waseda University in 2019 and has held research positions at Harvard Yenching Institute and Waseda University since then.
As a fellow at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC), Maumita will revise and expand the manuscript of her first book. It is a comparative history of modern Japan and India that explores the themes of socio-political history through the lens of everyday clothing. She investigates the connection between modern political ideologies and clothing to understand the key historical processes through which the global culture of national politics developed in modern Japan and India. She is centrally interested in how nationalism took form among the masses and shaped modern politics. Her research highlights the struggle of emerging nationalist thought not only in the context of Western imperialism but also vis-à-vis the politically marginalized. She engages with the themes of comparative history, colonialism, nationalism, material culture, and social life.
During her year in SISJAC, Maumita will also collect archival resources available only in the UK while revising her manuscript. She will engage in extensive archival research at SISJAC’s library and other historical archives in London.