The History Department is delighted to welcome Assistant Professor Juned Shaikh. His research lies at the intersection of urban history, labor history and Dalit Studies. Shaikh studies the ways in which marginalized groups negotiated and created urban spaces, navigated institutions of the modern State, produced social movements, and how these groups fashioned an intellectual corpus including a field of literature in 20th century Mumbai. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2011 with a dissertation entitled Dignity and Dalit Social Imaginaries: Entanglements of Caste, Class, and Space in Mumbai, 1898-1982.
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s Shaikh worked as a journalist in the city of Mumbai. He covered stories on city crime, court proceedings, labor unrest, financial markets, and popular cultures. His lack of knowledge and understanding of the city’s history, even as he was commenting on its current events, drove him to pursue a graduate degree.
Shaikh received the Best Graduate Student Paper award from the South Asia Council in 2010 for his paper, “Kamyunista Jahirnama [The Communist Manifest]: Mavali, Dalit and the Making of Mumbai’s Working Class.” In 2011 he received the Social Sciences Dean’s Medal from the University of Washington to recognize his exceptional work.
Shaikh is currently working on expanding his dissertation into a book. He is also writing an article for South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, that examines the role of images in the formation and understanding of caste in Mumbai during the first quarter of the 20th century. He is working on a second article for Social History, focused on the translation of Marxist texts into the Marathi language.
Shaikh is particularly excited about interacting with groups of scholars doing cutting edge research on various regions of the world. He is also looking forward to working with smart and ambitious undergraduate and graduate students. He hopes to instill in his students the desire to “engage deeply with the world they live in, be intellectually inquisitive, and keep working on their reading and writing skills.”