- HIS 205; Spring ’18 Hours: on leave
Assistant Professor of History
B.A., Yale University; A.M., Ph.D., Harvard University
Modern South Asia, environmental history, agricultural history, history of medicine and the body, history of economic life
Benjamin Siegel is a historian whose transnational archival work places South Asia at the center of global economic, environmental, and bodily transformations. His first book project, Hungry Nation: Food, Famine, and the Making of Modern India (Cambridge University Press, 2018), interrogates the ways in which questions of food and scarcity have structured Indian citizens’ understanding of welfare and citizenship since independence. Professor Siegel’s current project, Markets of Pain: American Bodies and Indian Drugs in an Age of Distress, is a global history of the American opioid crisis.
Professor Siegel’s work has been published in the Caravan, the Christian Science Monitor, Contemporary South Asia, Humanity, the International History Review, the Marginalia Review of Books, Modern Asian Studies, the World Policy Journal, VICE, and other journals and edited volumes. He received his B.A. from Yale University and his A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, where his dissertation won the 2014 Sardar Patel Award given by the Center for India and South Asia at UCLA, honoring “the best doctoral dissertation on any aspect of modern India.”
In fall 2018, Professor Siegel held a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies; in spring 2019, he will be an affiliate fellow at Yale University’s program in Agrarian Societies. Prior to coming to Boston University, Professor Siegel was a researcher and reporter for Time in New Delhi and Hong Kong, a Yale University Fox International Fellow at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, a visiting fellow with Hong Kong University’s Centre for Medicine and the Humanities, a Junior Fellow of the American Institute of Indian Studies, an affiliate researcher at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.