Department of History

VenkatVenkat Dhulipala, Associate Professor


  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota (2008)

Academic Interests

Venkat Dhulipala is Associate Professor of History and teaches courses on the history of modern South Asia, comparative colonial histories and introductory surveys in Global History. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Minnesota in 2008. His first book, Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.

About the Creating a New Medina (Cambridge 2015)

From Cambridge University Press: The book examines how the idea of Pakistan was articulated and debated in the public sphere and how popular enthusiasm was generated for its successful achievement, especially in the crucial province of U.P. (now Uttar Pradesh) in the last decade of British colonial rule in India. It argues that Pakistan was not a simply a vague idea that serendipitously emerged as a nation-state, but was popularly imagined as a sovereign Islamic State, a new Medina, as some called it. In this regard, it was envisaged as the harbinger of Islam's renewal and rise in the twentieth century, the new leader and protector of the global community of Muslims, and a worthy successor to the defunct Turkish Caliphate. The book specifically foregrounds the critical role played by Deobandi ulama in articulating this imagined national community with an awareness of Pakistan's global historical significance. It demonstrates how these ulama collaborated with the Muslim League leadership and forged a new political vocabulary fusing ideas of Islamic nationhood and modern state to fashion decisively popular arguments for the creation of Pakistan.

Selected Reviews

Sohaib Khan in Marginalia, LA Review of Books

Kapil Komireddi in Newsweek

Pratap Bhanu Mehta in Indian Express

Javed Anand in The Deccan Chronicle

Courses Taught

  • Partition of India: Problems and Perspectives
  • Global History from 1848 to the Present
  • Global History from 1500 to 1848
  • Empire and Nationalism in South Asia and Middle East
  • India and Pakistan after 1947
  • Gandhi and the Politics of Non-Violence
  • The Making of Modern South Asia
  • Mughal India

Significant Publications

  • Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India (Cambridge University Press 2015)
  • 'Towards a New Medina: Deobandi Ulama, Jinnah and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial India,' Occasional Publications, India International Center, (September, 2014)
  • 'Between Jinnah and Toba Tek Singh: Rethinking Partition Historiography', Occasional Papers, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (June, 2014)
  • 'A Nation-State Insufficiently Imagined? Debating Pakistan in Late Colonial North India' Indian Economic and Social History Review, (July/September 2011)
  • 'Rallying the Qaum: The Muslim League in the United Provinces 1937-39' Modern Asian Studies (May 2010)