Venkat Dhulipala Awarded NEH Fellowship to Advance International Book Project

Monday, April 18, 2022

UNCW Associate Professor of History Venkat Dhulipala has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in the amount of $60,000 for his book project “Between Yan’an, Pakistan, and Hindustan: Communism, Islamism, and Indian Nationalism in Hyderabad, 1935-52.”

For this highly competitive funding cycle, NEH funded only eight percent of the fellowship proposals it received. After a rigorous review process, Dhulipala’s fellowship was one of 73 awarded this year to support advanced research in the humanities by college and university teachers and independent scholars in the United States.

Dhulipala has been working steadily on the project since 2016, making research trips to India every summer and winter to collect archival materials and photographing 40,000 documents from 2017-20. He returned from his last trip in January 2020, funded by a Cahill Award. Since then, he has been working on translating his archival materials from Telugu, Urdu and Hindi into English.

Hyderabad is one of India’s Silicon Valleys. Dhulipala’s research and writing focuses on the rise of Indian nationalism and the integration of Hyderabad as a province of India.

“This entire process was accompanied by tremendous violence, bloodshed and massive exodus of populations,” he said. “My book will try to capture this entire drama and explain how it had a massive impact on the subsequent evolution of independent India’s State, society and polity.”

Dhulipala joined UNCW in 2008 as a lecturer. After successfully defending his thesis and receiving his doctorate later that year, he was promoted to assistant professor. His first book, Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India, was cited as “arguably the most important work of history published in 2015” by Newsweek.

 -- Caroline Cropp