Dr. Divya Kannan | Department of History


Dr. Divya
Assistant Professor
Department of History and Archaeology
School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS)
214- A
Block-D, Shiv Nadar University
Profile Summary 

My main areas of research, particularly with a focus on South Asia, include Histories of Childhood and Youth, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Empires and Colonial Violence, Histories of Education, Curriculum, and Pedagogy,  Public and Oral Histories . I welcome PhD students who would like to work in these aforementioned areas of interest.

I am also the co-founder of The Critical Childhoods and Youth Studies Collective (CCYSC) which seeks to bring together academics and practitioners working with and on young people across South Asia. For more details, see http://www.theccysc.com




Educational Qualifications 
Ph.D. Modern Indian History
Jawaharlal Nehru University
MPhil Modern Indian History
Jawaharlal Nehru University
MA Modern Indian History
Jawaharlal Nehru University
BA Hons History
Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi
Teaching & Research Interests: 

19th and 20th South Asian history, History of Education, Childhood and Youth, gender Studies, Social Movements, Empires and Colonial Violence, Christian missions, Public and Oral Histories

Conferences (Select): 


Prajnya Gender Talks Series, "Writing Histories of Childhood in India", 13 February 2022

“Constructing ‘Model’ Christians: Basel Mission Boarding Schools in Colonial Malabar” at the InternationalConference on Exclude to Include: Global Perspectives on Boarding Schools, their Participants and Processes during the 19th and 20th Centuries, November 5th/6th, 2020, Munster, Germany.

LSE International History Research Seminar 18 November 2020 . Paper: Caste(ing) Childhood: Missionaries and the Education of the Poor in Colonial South India

‘Saving Our Sisters’: Female Education and the London Missionary Society in Nineteenth Century South India Education for All? The State and Poor in Colonial Kerala Conference on Educational Reforms as Topic of the History of Education, 'Schools, Society, and Slavery in Nineteenth Century South Travancore: The Female Boarding Schools of the London Missionary Society', as part of the TRG Panel on 'Growing up inside and outside of Classrooms: Schooling and the Poor Child in Colonial India’ 7 th Annual Conference of the Comparative Education Society of India, 19-21 November 2017, S.V.University, Tirupati 

Gender and Empire: Exploring Comparative Intersections and Comparative Approaches, Global South Studies Centre, University of Cologne, 23-25 September, 2015

German Educational Research Association, University of Vienna, 17-19 September, 2015

8th Biennial Conference of the Society for History of Childhood and Youth, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 24-26 June 2015.

‘Ora Et Labora’: Education and the Basel Mission in the 19th and 20th Century Malabar, South Asia History Seminar Series, SOAS London,20May2014

 'Ora Et Labora: The Basel German Evangelical Winter Academy and Conferenceon Missionary Society in the 19th and 20th ‘Inequality, Power and Education: Century Malabar', Transregional Perspectives’, organised by the Forum Trans-Regionale and the Humboldt University, Berlin, 16-25 November, 2014.

‘Vagbhadananda and Social Twentieth Century Malabar’ Reform in 73rd Session, Indian History Congress, University of Mumbai December 2012


Transnational Doctoral Research Fellowship,

Research Group: Poverty Reduction and Policy for the Poor between the State and Private Actors: Education Policy in India since the Nineteenth Century, (A collaborative project between the German Historical Institute London, Centre for Modern Indian Studies {University of Goettingen}, Centre for Historical Studies and Zakir Hussain Centre for Educational Studies {JNU New Delhi} and CSDS New Delhi.


Research Fellowship, Georg-Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, Brauschweig, Germany

Scholarly Activity

Journal Articles


"Children's Work for Children": Caste, Childhood, and Missionary Philanthropy in Colonial India,The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 2021, pp. 234-253

 ‘Missionary Encounters: Female Boarding Schools in Nineteenth Century Travancore’ in New Perspectives on the History of Gender and Empire: Global and Comparative Approaches, eds. Dorte Lerp and Ulrike Linder London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018, pp. 269-294
 Book Review. P.Sanal Mohan Modernity of Slavery: Struggles Against Caste Inequality in Colonial Kerala, “Memory, History, and Modernity”, The Book Review, Vol XL, No.2, February 2016
 'Educating Poor Girls: The London Missionary Society in Nineteenth-Century South India', Global Humanities – Studies in Histories, Cultures, and Societies: Religion and Poverty, Vol. 2, Neofelis-Verlag, Berlin, February 2015
 Co-authored with Saqib Khan,‘Caught in NET’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 49, Issue No. 10, 08 Mar, 2014
 ‘Cooperation is Strength: The Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS) and Social Reform in Twentieth Century Kerala’ in Proceedings of the International Conference on Co-operatives Transition in the Era of Globalization: Unveiling New Possibilities for a New Era, TISS Mumbai and ULCCS,2013, pp 82-88
 ‘Socio-religious reform in twentieth century Kerala: Vagbhadananda and the Atma Vidya Sangham, 1900-40 ,Proceedings of the Indian History Congress Vol. 73, 2012, pp. 1006-1011