Benjamin Siegel

Assistant Professor of History
HIS 205, Spring ’16 Hours: T 12-5

Director of Undergraduate Studies; Assistant Professor of History

B.A., Yale University; A.M., Ph.D., Harvard University

Modern South Asian history

Curriculum Vitae


Benjamin Siegel is a historian of modern South Asia, with particular interests in the politics, economy, and culture of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. His teaching and research concerns questions of citizenship, governance, and statehood, as well as the history of development, technology, and the politics of expertise. Professor Siegel’s current book project, tentatively titled Independent India of Plenty: Food, Hunger, and Nation-Building in Modern India, interrogates the ways in which problems of food and scarcity structured India’s politics, society, and national aspirations in the years between the Bengal Famine and the Green Revolution. Professor Siegel’s 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.”

Professor Siegel’s work has been published in the Caravan, the Christian Science Monitor, Contemporary South Asia, the Marginalia Review of Books, the World Policy Journal, and other journals, as well as in Civil Lines 6: New Writing from India (HarperCollins, 2012). New work is forthcoming in Modern Asian Studies and Negotiating Independence: New Directions in the History of Decolonization and the Cold War (Bloomsbury, 2015). His other projects include work on the politics of expertise in modern India, and articles on invasive species, land reform, food adulteration, and the intellectual history of poverty in India.

Professor Siegel received his B.A. from Yale University and his A.M. and Ph.D. From Harvard University; prior to coming to Boston University, he 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.