Gyan Prakash

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Gyan Prakash (born 1952) is a historian of modern India and the Dayton-Stockton Professor of History at Princeton University. Prakash is a member of the Subaltern Studies collective. Prakash received his BA in history from the University of Delhi in 1973, his MA in history from Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1975, and his PhD in history from University of Pennsylvania in 1984. His general field of research concerns urban modernity, the colonial genealogies of modernity, and problems of postcolonial thought and politics. He advises on modern South Asian history, comparative colonialism and postcolonial theory, urban history, global history, and history of science.

Historian Gyan Prakash's Mumbai Fables is a narrative of the lived history of Mumbai as seen through the eyes of the writers, artists, planners, lawyers and trade unionists who have engaged with its hidden forces. In 2014, a movie called Bombay Velvet will be released which is based on his Mumbai Fables, which is the story of how the city became a metropolis against the backdrop of love, greed, violence and jazz music. The film is a part of a trilogy that aims at recreating Bombay of the 50s, 60s and 70s.


  • Bonded Histories: Genealogies of Labor Servitude in Colonial India (1990)
  • Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India (1999)
  • Worlds Together: Worlds Apart: A History of the Modern World, 1300 to the Present (2002)
  • Mumbai Fables (2010)
  • (ed.) After Colonialism: Imperial Histories and Postcolonial Displacements (1995)
  • (ed.) The Spaces of the Modern City: Imaginaries, Politics, and Everyday Life (2008)
  • (ed.) Noir Urbanism: Dystopic Images of the Modern City (2010)

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