Diya Gupta
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Personal profile

Research interests

I am interested in the intersections between life-writing, visual culture and literature, particularly in response to war. Two-and-a-half million men from undivided India served the British during the Second World War.  Their experiences are little remembered today, neither in the UK where a Eurocentric memory of the war dominates, nor in South Asia, which privileges nationalist histories of independence from the British Empire.  What was it like fighting for the British at a time when the struggle for India’s freedom from British rule was at its most incendiary? Responding to this gap, my PhD research seeks to provide the first literary and cultural analysis of the Indian soldiers’ experiences in the Second World War. 

My research draws upon diverse sources and authors. I start with letters, interviews and memoirs – ranging from the rank-and-file soldier to the newly recruited Indian officer – along with materials from visual culture to understand how the visual and textual relate to one another. I then examine how political philosophy and literary texts interrogate the Indian war experience. 

Watch a short film on my research here:

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Philosophy, Race and Racism in HG Wells's Science Fiction Novels, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jan 2007

Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jan 2006

Master of Arts, Jadavpur University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2004

Bachelor of Arts, Jadavpur University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2002


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