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Dr Chris Moffat


Lecturer in South Asian and Global History

Room Number: ArtsTwo 4.08


I am a political and intellectual historian of modern South Asia with an interest in the shape and form of history’s ‘public life’ across the broader postcolonial world. To this end, my work engages both the philosophy and anthropology of the discipline. I joined Queen Mary in 2015, having completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2014.  


Research Interests:

My research focuses on questions of historical methodology, especially where the discipline of history grapples with alternative conceptions of time and space, the interruptive influence of the dead, and the fraying or tangled threads of memory. I have written extensively on the Indian revolutionary martyr Bhagat Singh (1907-1931), tracing his continuing political potential into the twenty-first century and asking what it means to take such revenant figures seriously in the history of political thought.

I have a consonant interest in alternative or dissident commemorative practices, particularly as they relate to public space, public art and the politics of archival and architectural preservation.



  • The Promise of the Dead: India’s Revolutionary Inheritance (Manuscript Forthcoming)
  • ‘History in Pakistan and the Will to Architecture’, Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (Forthcoming - Part of a Special Section onThe Past for Pakistan).
  • ‘Against “Cultures of Hiatus": History and the Archive in the Political Thought of John La Rose’, Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism 55 (2018).
  • ‘Politics and the Work of the Dead in Modern India’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 60:1 (2018).
  • (With J Daniel Elam), ’On the Form, Politics and Effects of Writing Revolution’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 39:3 (2016), pp.513-24.
  •  ‘Bhagat Singh’s Corpse’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 39:3 (2016), pp.644-661.
  •  ‘Experiments in Political Truth(link is external)’, Postcolonial Studies 16:2 (2013), pp.185-201. 


Edited Volumes
  • (Co-edited with Kama Maclean and J Daniel Elam), Writing Revolution in South Asia: History, Practice, Politics (London and New Delhi: Routledge, 2017).
Selected Essays and Reviews 
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