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Event Series: Monday Lectures - Centre for British Studies / Großbritannien-Zentrum Summer 2024

Emotional Histories of India in the Second World War

Public Lecture with Dr. Diya Gupta, Lecturer in Public History, City, University of London. Registration necessary at:


Mon., May 27, 2024
5:00pm - 7:00pm


Mohrenstr. 60, 10117 Berlin


Centre for British Studies / Großbritannien-Zentrum
Figure:Centre for British Studies / Großbritannien-Zentrum

In 1940s India, revolutionary and nationalistic feeling surged against colonial subjecthood and imperial war. Two-and-a-half million men from undivided India served the British during the Second World War, while three million civilians were killed by the war-induced Bengal Famine, and Indian National Army soldiers fought against the British for Indian independence.

This lecture uses the lens of emotions as a way of unearthing the troubled and contested roles of Indian men and women during wartime, exposing the personal as political. Dr. Diya Gupta looks at photographs, letters, memoirs, novels, poetry and philosophical essays, in both English and Bengali, to recover a comlex range of emotions felt by Indians in service and at home during the war. Seen through Indian eyes, this conflict no longer remains the 'good' war.


Educated at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India, University of Cambridge and King's College London, UK, Dr. Diya Gupta is a literary and cultural historian interested in how visual culture, life-writing and literature respond to war. She is currently Lecturer in Public History at City, University of London, and was formerly Past & Present Fellow: Race, Ethnicity and Equality in History at the Royal Historical Society and the Institute of Historical Research.

Her first book, 'India in the Second World War: An Emotional History' (Hurst Publishers and Oxford University Press, 2023), recovers and assesses an emotional history of undivided India during the Second World War.

Registration necessary at:

Further information

Organizer: Centre for British Studies / Großbritannien-Zentrum
Speakers: Dr. Diya Gupta
Scientific director: Dr. Riley Linebaugh

Further information on the event's website


Catherine Smith
Phone: 030 2093-99040


Mohrenstr. 60, 10117 Berlin
Room: 105, 1. Etage