Dr Purba Hossain


I am a historian of South Asia and the British Empire. I holdd a BA and MA in History from Presidency University, Kolkata (India) and a PhD from the University of Leeds. My doctoral research interrogated how voices from colonial Calcutta – the capital of British India – contributed to debates on the use of Indian indentured (contractual) labourers in Caribbean and Indian Ocean plantations. As postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Historical Research (London) and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, I am currently developing my doctoral research into a monograph.


  • ‘A Matter of Doubt and Uncertainty’: John Gladstone and Post-Slavery Labour in the British Empire’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 50.1 (2022).
  • (with Sudipto Mitra), ‘Protests in Print: Resistance against Indian Indentured Labour in Nineteenth Century Bengal’, in The Nation and its Margins: Rethinking Community, ed. by Aditi Chandra and Vinita Chandra (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019), 90–108.
  • ‘Protests at the Colonial Capital: Calcutta and the Global Debates on Indenture, 1836–42’, Journal of South Asian Studies, 33.1 (2017), 37–51.
  • ‘The Nation and its Limits: The Women’s Question in Nineteenth Century Bengal and the Nationalist “Resolution”’, Presidency Historical Review, 1:1 (2015), 94–108.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD History (2020)
  • MA History (2016)
  • BA History (2014)

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Royal Historical Society