Nikhil Menon

Nikhil Menon

Assistant Professor

464 Decio
Ph.D., Princeton University
Time Period(s)
Economic & History of Capitalism, Empires & Colonialism, Political
Asia, Global

Nikhil Menon is a historian of modern South Asia, specializing in the political and economic history of twentieth-century India. His research explores the histories of democracy and development in independent India. He offers courses on the history of South Asia, modern India and Pakistan, Gandhi, and the global history of development.

Menon’s book project is titled Planning Democracy: India’s Cold War Experiment. It tells the story of a political experiment: how India wedded western-style democracy and Soviet inspired economic planning in the middle of the twentieth century—precisely when the Cold War pitted them as fundamentally incompatible. Planning Democracy was awarded the Joseph W. Elder Prize in the Indian Social Sciences for the best book manuscript on an Indian subject. An article from this project, on India’s first computers, won the Mahoney Prize from the Society for the History of Technology.

His work has appeared in Modern Asian Studies, The Indian Economic and Social History Review, and is forthcoming in the Journal of the History of Ideas. He is a co-editor of The Postcolonial Moment in South and Southeast Asia (Bloomsbury, 2018). He has also written in public forums such as The Indian Express, The Caravan, and The Hindu. The American Council of Learned Societies and the Mellon Foundation have funded his research.