Professor Sumita Mukherjee

BA(Dunelm.), MSt(Oxon.), PhD(Oxon.)

  • BS8 1TB

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Personal profile

Research interests


Office: Rm 1.01 26/27 St Michael's Park

Postal address: 7 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TB


My research focuses on the transnational mobility of South Asians in the imperial era (nineteenth and twentieth century) i.e. the movement of men and women from the Indian subcontinent to other parts of the world, and also their return back to India. Much of my attention has been on how travel and the colonial encounter for migrants in Britain has had an effect on social and political identities including race, class, gender and religion. 

My first book, Nationalism, Education and Migrant Identities: The England-Returned, published in 2009, discussed the politicisation of Indian students at British universities in the early twentieth century and the impact their return to India had on the nationalist movement.

My second book, Indian Suffragettes: Female Identities and Transnational Networks, was published with Oxford University Press in 2018. Funded by an AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellowship, it looked at the activities of Indian campaigners for the female vote around the world, and how this had an impact on campaigns in the Indian subcontinent in the first half of the twentieth century.

I have written widely on the networks and reception to South Asian migrants in Britain, or on women's rights in the Indian subcontinent. My current research is centred around the global migration and mobility of Indian children in the nineteenth and twentieth century. I am also currently working on two Arts and Humanities Research Council funded projects: 'Mariners: Religion, Race and Empire in British Ports, 1801-1914' (AH/W009803/1) and 'Remaking Britain: South Asian Networks and Connections, 1830s to the present' (AH/X001520/1).

I have extensive public engagement and impact experience. This includes interviews on radio and television, curation and advice on exhibitions relating to South Asian contributions to British life, and talks, podcasts and learning resources for school children relating to migration histories. I was one of the designers and editors of an online database on South Asians in Britain (which we are currently updating to relaunch in 2025). I have been involved in numerous public events and policy work relating to my research on migration and on Indian 'suffragettes', especially during the 2018 centenary of the partial award of votes to women in Britain. More details on some of my interviews and blogs I have written can be found on my personal website

I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and one of the Deputy Editors of the journal Women's History Review.


Before coming to Bristol in 2016, I had taught at six other UK universities (Cambridge, De Montfort, Glasgow, King's College London, London School of Economics and Oxford). I have served as external examiner for BA and MA programmes at three other UK universities. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

In 2018-19 I was one of the course directors on the Foundation Year in Arts and Humanities, a pre-degree programme which values personal experience and potential over A-Levels. I teach on courses at all levels (undergraduate and postgraduate) relating to the history of Britain, the British Empire, the Indian subcontinent, and social, gender and public history more broadly.

Research Supervision

I have supervised PhD students at the University of Glasgow and the University of Bristol. I would be happy to supervise and advise students interested in doing PhDs in areas relating to nineteenth and twentieth century South Asia and the British Empire, Indian indenture, or Black and Asian British History, with particular reference to migration, gender, representation, nationalism or identity. Please do get in touch to discuss ideas.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Migration Mobilities Bristol
  • Centre for Black Humanities


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