Soumen Mukherjee

Assistant Professor

I hold degrees in History (Honours, BA 2002, Presidency College, University of Calcutta; MA 2004, University of Calcutta) and History of South Asia (Dr. phil. 2010, University of Heidelberg). I have worked as Research Fellow at the Zentrum Moderner Orient (now Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient) and taught at the Freie Universitaet, both in Berlin, before joining Presidency University in autumn 2013.

My research interests lie widely in the fields of socio-religious and intellectual history of modern South Asia. I am the author of Ismailism and Islam in Modern South Asia: Community and Identity in the Age of Religious Internationals (Cambridge University Press, 2017), a book in which I explore the evolution in modern India of the community of the Shia Ismailis with reference to issues of religious leadership, community development, and identity while also remaining sensitized to the transregional and global aspects of that history. In addition, I have also published in a number of refereed journals and edited books. I am now in the process of transitioning to broadly four research projects in the following areas: 1) Indian secularism, religious pluralism,  the idea of civil religion, and the intellectual enterprise of “Indian philosophy”; 2) the relationship between spirituality, religious experience, and discourses of consciousness within the rubric of the “psy-­disciplines” in modern India; 3) the interface of fantastic histories and “new religious movements” interrogating, along the way, a number of crucial issues, such as those of scientism, identity and authority; 4) narratives of trans-Himalayan pilgrimage and sacred space in the Himalayan borderlands. Publications from these new projects are at different stages of development.

I have been recipient of doctoral scholarship of the German Academic Exchange Service, a number of prizes and grants in my Undergraduate and Graduate years, and have been elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland. Most recently, in 2017, I have been selected as a Short-Term Scholar within the rubric of the exchange programme on the Study of the U.S. Institute for Scholars on Religious Pluralism, funded by the Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs, United States Department of State.

I teach courses in the fields of social, religious and intellectual history of modern South Asia and encourage my students to engage, at the same time, with questions of transregional and global nature. I also supervise MA dissertations on a wide array of themes and look forward to welcoming PhD candidates even as Presidency University starts the programme in earnest.


Presidency University,
86/1 College Street, Kolkata - 700073,
West Bengal, India

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Email: soumen.his at
alternate E-mail: soumenmukherjee26 at

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New Town
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