Faculty Profile


Prof. Sanjay Kumar Sharma


Dr. Sanjay Sharma is a historian, translator and media practitioner. He was educated in Allahabad University (B.A.), Jawaharlal Nehru University (M.A.), Delhi University (M.Phil) and School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (Ph.D). He has researched on aspects of famine, relief, food security, drought, environmental degradation, state welfarism and philanthropy in modern India. He is also interested in issues of poverty, hunger, diet, disease, malnutrition, health and medicine in the colonial period. His wider areas of interest include state formation, popular culture, language and media in northern India. He has been engaged with comparative histories of India, China and Europe.


Past Experience

Dr Sanjay Sharma joined Ambedkar University, Delhi, in February 2011. Before that he was teaching History in Zakir Husain College of Delhi University since December 1987. Earlier he taught briefly at Deshbandhu College, Hindu College and Ramjas College of Delhi University. Dr Sharma taught a course on modern India in Japan in 1990. He has also taught courses on modern India to post-graduates at the department of History, Delhi University. Dr Sharma has been a consultant at Sarai, which is a programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi.

My Zone / Area of Expertise

Dr Sanjay Sharma received a scholarship from Felix Foundation to pursue a Ph.D programme at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, U.K. in 1992. He finished his doctorate in 1996. He was awarded a fellowship by the Asian Scholarship Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand, to undertake a comparative study of famine and food security in China and India in Beijing in 2003.

He has presented research papers at Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge,Tokyo University, Japan, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai, China and the University of London. As an Asia fellow of the Asian Scholarship Foundation, Thailand, he presented papers in Bangkok and Shanghai on food security in India and China and the outbreak and response to SARS epidemic in China.

In addition to teaching and research, he has worked as a journalist and radio broadcaster for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). He has presented news and participated in radio programmes on education, development, sports, and cultural issues for several years for the BBC Hindi Service


(1) Famine, Philanthropy and the Colonial State: North India in the Early Nineteenth Century (New Delzi, Oxford University Press, 2001). 

(2) ‘Elusive Rains and Parched Lands: Situating Drought in Colonial India’ in Jasveen Jairath and Vishva Ballabh (ed.) Droughts and Integrated Water Resource Management in South Asia: Issues, Alternatives and Futures (New Delhi, Sage, 2008).

(3) ‘From Trade to Territory: The Company Establishes Power’, chapter 2 in Our Pasts – III, Part 1, Textbook in History for Class VIII, NCERT (2008).

(4) ‘Introduction’ in The Zakir Husain College Memorial Lectures, 1992-2004 (New Delhi, Tulika Books, 2007).

(5) ‘Remembering SARS in Beijing: The Nationalist Appropriation of an Epidemic’ Sarai Reader 04 (The Sarai Programme, CSDS, 2004), pp. 332-39.

(6) ‘The 1837-38 Famine in U.P.: Some Dimensions of Popular Action’, Indian Economic and Social History Review, 30, 3 (1993), pp. 337-72.

(7) Capitalism and Imperialism: India From Mid 18th to Mid 19 th Century, History textbook for Indira Gandhi National Open University (New Delhi, IGNOU, 1991).

(8) Several book reviews in newspapers and academic journals e.g. review of Shahid Amin, ed., A Concise Encyclopaedia of North Indian Peasant Life: being a compilation from the writings of William Crooke, J. R. Reid and G. A. Grierson. (New Delhi, Manohar Publishers, 2005), in Contributions to Indian Sociology; Volume 43, No. 3, Sept-Dec. 2009, pp .489-92; review of Nandita Prasad Sahai, Politics of Patronage and Protest The State, Society and Artisans in Early Modern Rajasthan (New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2006) in The Hindu, 14 November 2006; Charu Gupta’s Sexuality, Obscenity, Community: Women, Muslims, and the Hindu Public in Colonial India (Delhi, Permanent Black, 2001) in Indian Economic and Social History Review, 42, 1 (2005), pp.131-4; Mukulika Banerjee’s The Pathan Unarmed: Opposition & Memory in the North West Frontier (New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2001) in April-June 2004 issue of the Indian Economic and Social History Review; Clive Dewey’s, The Mind of the Indian Civil Service (New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1996), in Studies in History,  15, 1, n. s. (1999), pp. 171-4; Contribution in ‘Subaltern Studies III & IV: A Review Article, Social Scientist, Volume 16, Number 3, March 1988, pp. 16-18.


Two e-lessons for the Institute of Life Long Learning, University of Delhi (2011):

(1) History Paper 7: The History of India, 1750-1950; Lesson 5.1: De-industrialization in India

(2) History Paper 7: The History of India, 1750-1950; Lesson 5.3: Drain of Wealth



Dr Sharma is the co-editor of the Hindi Reader Series of Sarai, CSDS, Delhi. Two volumes have been published so far: Diwan-e-Sarai, 01 and 02 (Delhi, Sarai, CSDS, 2002, 2005). The first Reader Media Vimarsh;//Hindi Janpad focuses on the impact of globalization on language, media and the Hindi public sphere. The second Reader Shahernama looks at the changing face of cities in recent years.


(1) ‘Aalekh parichay’ in Zakir Husain Smriti Vyakhyan, 1992-2004 (New Delhi, Rajkamal Prakashan, 2007), pp 57-64.

(2) ‘Cheen: chamakte bazaaron ka samajvaad’, Sahara Samay, 11 March 2006.

(3) ‘Beijing mein mahamari: Sars ke aaine mein Chini rashtravaad aur adhunikta ka aks’ in Diwan-e-Sarai 02: Shehernama (Delhi, Sarai, CSDS, 2005), pp. 219-26.

(4) ‘BBC tarangon par udte-udate’ in Diwan-e-Sarai, 01 (Sarai, CSDS, Delhi, 2002), pp. 98-102.

(5) Translation of Shahid Amin’s article ‘Gandhi as Mahatma’ from Subaltern Studies as ‘Gandhi ka mahatmya’, in Shahid Amin and Gyanendra Pandey (ed) Nimnvargiya Prasang, Bhag 1 (New Delhi, Rajkamal Prakashan, 1994).

(6) Moderated and edited the Hindi translation of NCERT textbooks in History for Class VIII and IX, published by NCERT in 2007 & 2008.