NEW YORK (TIP): Rohit De, an associate professor of history at Yale University, has been named a 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. He joins a class of 27 fellows, each of whom receives up to $200,000 to pursue a writing and research project.
De is a legal historian who studies South Asia, postcolonialism, and the role of lawyers in politics. Among other topics, his research has explored the significance of political trials in Asia and Africa in the 1950s, and constitutions in South Asia.
Professor De’s book A People’s Constitution: Law and Everyday Life in the Indian Republic(Princeton University Press) explores how the Indian constitution, despite its elite authorship and alien antecedents, came to permeate everyday life and imagination in India during its transition from a colonial state to a democratic republic. Mapping the use and appropriation of constitutional language and procedure by diverse groups such as butchers and sex workers, street vendors and petty businessmen, journalists and women social workers, it offers a constitutional history from below. He continues to write on the social and intellectual foundations of constitutionalism in South Asia.
He is current research focuses around two major strands: the histories of political lawyering and the nature of the postcolonial state in South Asia.