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School of History

Dr Ria Kapoor


Lecturer in History and IHSS Fellow



I am a historian of refugees, immigration, and rights, with a focus on the Afro-Asian world and its impact on the international and global orders. I joined QMUL in 2022, following a year as a Simon Fellow at the University of Manchester. Prior to this, I was a teaching fellow at the University of Leeds. I completed a D.Phil in History at the University of Oxford in 2019, following Masters in International History at the Geneva Graduate Institute and an undergraduate degree from St. Stephen's College of the University of Delhi. In addition, I spent two years as an editorial fellow with History Workshop Online (2020-2022).


Research Interests:

My first book was a global history of India's alternative conception of the refugee, in contrast to internationally accepted definitions, placing this within its long 20th century transition from colony to postcolonial nation-state. I am presently working on a history of the 1972 expulsion of Uganda's Asians and their subsequent resettlement across the globe, seeing this as a watershed moment in how humanitarianism came to replace the both human rights and the rights of subject-citizens of empire in the era of decolonisation.

I am interested in histories of rights, of migration and immigration, refugees, and humanitarianisms, as well as those of decolonisation and its impact on shaping the global/international order.


Making Refugees in India (Oxford University Press, 2022).

“Removing the International from the Refugee,” Humanity 12, no. 1, (2021): 1-19. - special mention for Humanity's Early Career Prize

“Nehru’s Non-Alignment Dilemma: The Tibetan Refugees in India,” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 42, no. 4 (2019): 675-693.

“Book Review of Lucy Mayblin, Asylum After Empire,” Journal of Refugee Studies 32, no. 2 (2019): 342-345.

‘“Re-uniting Split Families: The 1972 Ugandan Asian refugees and the Internationalisation of diaspora,” in Elisabeth Leake and Berenice Guyot-Rechard (eds.) South Asia Unbound (Edited Volume under review).

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