Dr. Sudha Tiwari is one of the founding faculty members of the School of Liberal Studies, UPES. She is an expert on the history of contemporary India/South Asia, with a special focus on Partition, culture, cinema, institutional history, and cultural policy studies. Her forthcoming book, entitled The State and New Cinema in Contemporary India, 1960-1997, with Routledge UK, is due in September 2023. She has published her research in journals of repute at the national and international level, and has also presented in global conferences.
Sudha has been with UPES since July 2021. Before joining UPES, she worked at Department of History, Ashoka University, as a teaching fellow. She also taught in various colleges at the undergraduate level in Mumbai for more than six years between 2005 and 2013. At SOLS, UPES, apart from teaching, she is responsible for designing curriculum, and outreach, marketing and enrolment assistance. She runs SOLS Film Club for university students, which has had ten successful screenings so far.
Contemporary India | Partition | Institutions | Cinema and Culture | Critical Cultural Policies
Sudha is a trained historian, with a teaching interest in history of modern and contemporary India. Her research interests especially focus on Partition, history of institutions, cinema and culture, and cultural policies. Her maiden book is due in September 2023, to be published by Routledge, UK. She has written on the Partition of India as depicted in literature, history and historians in India, cinema and Emergency, NFDC and film history, Gandhi and Indian cinema, etc. She wants to pursue her research interest in history of Indian cinema and publish more in this area.
In the study of Indian history, or history in general, the student and the instructor need to engage in continuous dialogue with the present times. Sudha’s primary role, therefore, has been to enable students to understand the importance of studying history, first, and second, to critically examine historical situations, and then analyse the relationship between past and present times. To achieve this objective, it is important to first start with lecturing method. Here, lecturing is not a one-way communication; it is combined with readings given in advance, audio-visual aids used during the lecture sessions, and discussion between the teacher and students, and among students in the class. While preparing the lecture classes, emphasis is placed on the methodology and historiography of the concerned topic being taught. Hand-outs containing supporting readings, a poem, a cartoon, etc. are circulated. All efforts are made to have an objective, immersive, interdisciplinary approach toward knowing history and our modern past. Students are also encouraged to demonstrate their skills through short response papers, in-class and home assignments, and semester-long continuous projects. Dr. Sudha actively updates her teaching material, by reading recent publications, attending talks, and discussing teaching strategies with her fellow colleagues. As a historian, her effort is to encourage students to empathize with cultures and histories different than theirs, and also to prepare them to deal with their everyday life with more criticality, civility and understanding.
Before joining a full-time PhD at Centre for Historical Studies, JNU, Sudha taught for more than six years, at the undergraduate level in various colleges in Mumbai. The courses she taught range from the history of India, from ancient to contemporary times, Indian Civilizations, Makers of Modern India, world history, history of Europe and the Middle East, contemporary world, history of press, TV & Radio, journalism, mass media courses, Human Rights, etc. At UPES, she has been associated with courses on ethical leadership, and critical thinking. At SOLS, she is offering courses on Partition, history of Contemporary India, Indian Cinema, India and contemporary world, etc.
As a Graduate student in JNU, Sudha received the Fox International Fellowship, to spend a year at Yale University (2016-17). She was a recipient of the prestigious Indian Council of Historical Research JRF (2015-16 & 2017-18). Her Ph.D. thesis was shortlisted for the Sharda Prize for Best Thesis in 2022-23. She signed a book contract with Routledge in 2022 to publish a monograph, converting her doctoral thesis into a book, due in September 2023.
As an early career scholar, Sudha’s focus is on researching and teaching, and making a contribution towards establishing History as a discipline to know and change the world around us. She is finishing a book on institutional history of Indian cinema. She has articles and chapters lined up on Partition, Emergency, and discourses on what constitutes a “good cinema” in India. She has been running a film club at UPES, with a view to helping students gain valuable knowledge, improve their ability to empathize and think critically, enhance communication skills, and, finally, make them an enlightened audience. Sudha also participates in activities involving excursions with students, making them aware of the local history of Dehradun and Uttarakhand. She wishes to make these tours more regular, frequent, and connected with the classroom teachings.