Khondker Iftekhar Iqbal
PhD University of Cambridge
MPhil University of Cambridge
MA University of Dhaka
BA (Honours) University of Dhaka
- South Asia: The Dawn of History
- India and its Neighbours: Accommodations, Conflicts and Interactions
Current Research Interests
- Environmental History of the river
- Mobility across Asia
- South Asian historical connections to Southeast Asia
- Bangladesh studies
- South Asian intellectual history
- Brunei in global context
Research and Publications
The Bengal Delta. Ecology, State and Social Change, 1840-1943 (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010; Indian reprint published in August 2011). pp. xx+264. ISBN 978-0-23183-2.
- “Honorable Mention” by the inaugural Bernard S. Cohn Prize Committee 2011, Association for Asian Studies, USA.
- University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh Book Prize for 2010.
Reviews of The Bengal Delta:
- Asaduzzaman, M. Bangladesh Development Studies, vol. 34, no. 1 (2011).
- D’Souza, Rohan. Indian Economic and Social History Review, vol. 50, no. 4 (2013).
- Ludden, David. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, vol. 34, no. 3 (2011).
- Mann, Michael. On-line Review (2011).
- Robb, Peter. Reviews in History On-line Review (2011).
- Russell, Azizul. Protichinta (in Bengali), vol. 3, no. 1 (October-December 2013).
- Sinha, Nitin. South Asia Chronicle, 1, 2011: On-line Version.
Iqbal, Iftekhar, Neilesh Bose and Kris Manjapra. Under review. Voicing Futures Past: Bengali Intellectuals in the Era of Decolonization, 1930-1980.
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2015. The Space between Nation and Empire: Making and Unmaking of Eastern Bengal and Assam Province 1905-1911. The Journal of Asian Studies, 74 (1).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2014. State of Bangladesh Studies: An Exploration in Historical Literature. South Asia Chronicle. Vol. 4.
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2014. Reclaiming the Crossroads between India and China: A View from the River, Economic and Political Weekly, XIIX (2051) (December 20).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2013. Colonial Governance and Aspects of Eco-subjectivity in the Bengal Delta, in RCC Perspectives (Munich: Rachel Carson Centre)
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2013. First Master Plan for Dhaka City: An Environmental Exploration, South Asia Chronicle. Vol. 3. 42-61.
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2011. The Boat Denial Policy and the Great Bengal Famine, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, 56 (1-2) (Diamond Jubilee Volume), 271-282.
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2011. The Sundarbans Forest Systems: Patterns of Colonial Control and Social Response to Capitalist Enterprises, 1830-1905, East West Journal of Humanities, 1 (1).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2009. Return of the Bhadralok: Ecology and Agrarian Relations in Eastern Bengal, c. 1905-1947. Modern Asian Studies, 43 (6).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2009. Fighting with a Weed: Water Hyacinth and the State in Colonial Bengal, c.1910-1947. Environment and History, 15 (1), 35-59. [Reprinted in Sarah Johnson ed., Bio-invaders (Isles of Harris: White Horse Press, 2010)]
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2007. The Railways and the Water Regime of the Eastern Bengal Delta c.1845-1943. Internationales Asienforum: International Quarterly for Asian Studies, 38 (3-4).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2007. Modernity and its Discontents: Studying Environmental History in Colonial and Post-Colonial Bangladesh. East West Journal, 1 (1).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2005. Towards an Environmental History of Colonial East Bengal: Paradigms and Praxis. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, golden jubilee 50 (1-2).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. Forthcoming. The Bengali Muslim: Language and Space-making at the Ocean’s Margins. In: Sugata Bose, Ayesha Jalal and Kris Manjapra (eds.) Islam on the Indian Ocean Rim.
Iqbal, Iftekhar. Forthcoming. Social Autonomy and Governance in Bangladesh: Changes and Challenges. In: Ipshita Basu et al (eds.) Title to be confirmed.
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2016 (forthcoming). Ecological and Climatic Histories of Eastern South Asia: Towards a Transregional Trajectory. In Mili Ghose (ed.) History of Global Climate Change (New Delhi: Primas).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2015 (forthcoming). A History of the Future of Dhaka University. In Imtiaz Ahmed and Iftekhar Iqbal (eds.) University of Dhaka: Past, Present and Futures (Dhaka: University Press Limited).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2014. Colonial Contribution to Human Rights: Progressive or Regressive? In: Imtiaz Ahmed & Amena Mohsin (ed.) Human Rights in Bangladesh. Past, Present & Futures (Dhaka: University Press Limited).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2012. Bangladesh: société civile numériquement forte, mais inefficace. In Aurelie Leroy (ed.) ETAT DES RÉSISTANCES DANS LE SUD – ASIE (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: Tricontinental Centre).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2011. An Environmental History of Dhaka. In: Roxana Hafiz and AKM Golam Rabbani (eds.) Urbanization and Urban Developments (vol. 3, 400 years of Capital Dhaka and beyond series, Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2007. State and the Environment [Ancient period to the present]”. In: Ahamed, Emajuddin and Harun-or-Rashid (eds.) Cultural Survey of Bangladesh (Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2007. Environment and Culture [From prehistoric time to the present]. In: Mohsin, K.M. and Ahmed, Sharif uddin (eds.) Cultural Survey of Bangladesh (Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh), 44-72.
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2006. The Railway in Colonial India: Between Ideas and Impacts. In Roopa Srinivasan et el. (eds.) Our Indian Railway. Themes in India’s Railway History (New Delhi: Foundation Books).
Published Conference Papers
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2002. Studying the Nineteenth-century Bengal Delta: an Ecological Perspective, in the Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the International Association of the Historians of Asia, held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. December.
2015. Smritikumar Sarkar, Technology and Rural Change in Eastern India 1830-1980. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014. In Economic and Political Weekly, L(33), 15 August.
2014. Srinath Raghavan, 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2013. In The American Historical Review, 119 (5).
2010. Ahmed Kamal, State against the Nation. The Decline of the Muslim League in Pre-Independence Bangladesh (Dhaka: University Press Limited, 2009). In Economic and Political Weekly, 45 (25).
2010. Willem van Schendel, A History of Bangladesh (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009). In Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 44, no.34. Translated into Bengali in Protichinta, 1 (2) (Oct-Dec 2011).
2009. Pamela Kyle Crossley, What is Global History (Cambridge: Polity, 2008). In Reviews in History, no. 749). On-line Version.
2008. Michael Williams, Deforesting the Earth. An Abridgement. (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2006), (H-Net, H-Environment, On-line Version).
2008. Neena Ambre Rao, Forest Ecology in India. Colonial Maharashtra 1850-1950. (New Delhi: Foundation Books, 2008). In Conservation and Society (Bangalore), 6 (4).
Commissioned Research Reports
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2014. Protection of Jamdani as a Geographical Indications in Bangladesh (Dhaka: Centre for Policy Dialogue and National Crafts Council of Bangladesh).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2009. Indigenous Associations with Development Potentials in Bangladesh (Unpublished. Complete report submitted to the Aga Khan Development Network in Geneva).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2007. ‘Moderate’ Islam in Bangladesh: Trends and Trajectories (Washington D.C.: National Bureau of Asian Research).
Miscellaneous Non-refereed Publications
Iqbal, Iftekhar. Forthcoming. Situating the Sonar Bangla: Ecology, economy and wellness in the long nineteenth century. In Mahmudul Huque ed., Bangladesh: History, Politics, Economics, Society and Culture (Felicitation volume in honour of Professor Alamgir Muhammad Serajuddin). (Dhaka: University Press Limited).
Iqbal, Iftekhar and Jon Wilson. 2009. Introduction. The Indian papers of the 1st Earl of Minto, 1806-1814: at the National Library of Scotland, including supplementary materials selected from his earlier papers and contemporary non-official correspondence (East Ardsley, Wakefield : Microform Academic Publishers, 2009).
Iqbal, Iftekhar and Hasina Ahmed. 2007. Atharosho Shatanya Shaler Vidroh: Ekti Grontho Ponji [The Rebellion of 1857: A bibliography], in Muntasir Mamun ed. Bangladesh Charcha (vol. 4, Dhaka: UPL, 2007).
Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2016 (forthcoming). “Bangladesh”, The Encyclopaedia of Islam and the Muslim World (2nd edition). Macmillan Reference USA/Gale.
Imtiaz Ahmed and Iftekhar Iqbal (Eds.) 2016. University of Dhaka: Making Unmaking Remaking. Dhaka: Prothoma.
Iqbal, Iftekhar and Sadia Bajwa. 2014. Guest Editor. Fokus: South Asia Chronicle. Humboldt University Berlin, Germany.
Translations into Bengali
Alia Ali Izetbegovic, Islam between East and West [Prachya, Prachyatyo O Islam]. Dhaka: Aman Publishers, 2006. Two editions published so far.
Joseph Conrad, Condition of Art [Silper Shorto], in Mati (January 1993).
William von O’Connor, r of Sensibility [Bodhbijukti] Sangband Literary Supplement (date?).
T.S. Eliot, Religion and Literature [Dhormo O Shahitya], Ittefaq Literary Supplement (date?).
William Carlos Williams [William Carlos Williams er Kobita], A few poems, in Sangbad Literary Supplement, 4 November 1993.
Ted Hughes, ‘May Day’ [Ted Hughes er Kobita: May Day], in Ittefaq Literary Supplement, 7 October 1993.
Publications in Bengali
‘1857’. In: Anisuzzaman ed., Liberation War (Dhaka: Chandraboti Academy, 2012).
‘Phire Dekha’, a research article published on the centenary of the Partition of Bengal 1905, in Samoiki, literary supplement of the Daily Prothom Alo, 3 March, 2006.
Manobiki Onushonge Sangit [Music and humanistic pursuit], Ananda Bazar Patrika, 24 June 1993.
Jatiyo Bikash Bhabna O Boi [Books and thoughts on national progress], 27 January 1994.
Uttor Adhunikotar Prokarbhed Proshonge [On the Classification of Postmodernity] Bangla Bazar Patrika (publication date not known. First read as key note paper in a seminar organized by the Uttar Adhunik Sahitya Andolon at the Dhaka Book Fair 1996).
‘Samaj O Sushil Samaj’ [Society and Civil Society]; 8th Ahmed Sofa Commemorative Lecture), published in Ortho, vol. 2, no. 1 (2010), 9-24.
Nasreen Jahan, Urukku (Dhaka: Maola Brothers), in Boi: Book Review magazine of Jatiya Grantha Kendra, vol. 28, no. 9 (1994/Magh 1400 BS).
Abu Muhammad Delwar Hossain ed., Muktijuddher Ancholik Itihash, in Boi: Book Review magazine of Jatiya Grantha Kendra (1995?).
Editor, Suryabartya (Victory Day Commemorative Issue, December 1991), published in the capacity of the Literary Secretary of Uccharan Sahitya O Sanskritik Goshti of the Michael Madhusudan College, Jessore.
2014 Protection of Jamdani, The Daily Star, 13 July.
2011 The Range of Resistance, 29 September. On-line Version
2010 Reviving Professional History in Bangladesh, Forum, June.
2010 Reshaping Student Politics in Bangladesh, The Daily Star, 14 February.
2008 Politics will remain unsafe minus mutual trust, Weekly Holiday, 24 October.
2008 Bangladesh: The first victim of climate change crisis, Weekly Holiday, 19 September.
2008 Bangladesh history. Looking back and forth, Weekly Holiday, 25 April.
2007 Making sense of water, The Forum, Dhaka, 1 June.
2006 The case for Bangladesh Studies, The Daily Star, Dhaka, 16 November.
2006 How environment-friendly is the railway?, The Daily Star, Dhaka, 11 August.
2006 Radicalism in Bangladesh: an ecological perspective, The Daily Star, Dhaka, 23 June.
2000 On Classifying Postmodern, The Daily Star, Dhaka, 7 October.
1999 Disarmament: a Twentieth Century Myth?, The Daily Star, Dhaka, 23 July.
1999 Ecology and Politics, The Daily Star, Dhaka, 20 May.
1997 Man and Music, The New Nation, Dhaka, 12 December.
1995 Media as “knowledge” and Continuity of Domination, The New Nation, Dhaka, 23 November.
Fellowships and Grants
Postdoctoral and senior fellowships
- 2013-14: ‘Return Fellowship’ of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. November 2013-October 2014.
- 2012-2013: ‘Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Experienced Researcher’ of the Humboldt Foundation at Humboldt University Berlin.
- Research Fellow, Bangladesh National Archives, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka. August 2010-July 2011.
- Iqbal Fellow, Iqbal International Institute of Research and Dialogue, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan. July-August 2009.
- 2009-2010: Research Fellowship, Aga Khan University-Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations, London.
- 2007-2008: British Academy/ESRC Visiting Fellowship, King’s College London.
Doctoral level grants and awards
- 2005: St Luke’s Institute Scholarship, Cambridge.
- 2005: Charles Wallace Bangladesh Trust Award, London.
- 2002-4: Cambridge Scholarship for Commonwealth Studies.
- 2003-4: Holland Rose Award, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge.
- 2003: Smuts Memorial Award (of the Board of Graduate Studies), University of Cambridge.
- 2002-3: Fitzwilliam College Senior Scholarship (On the basis of 1st Class MPhil).
- 2002: Research Grant, Economic History Society, London.
- 2002: Research Grant, Royal Historical Society, London.
- 2014. Modern Bengal: Some Historiographical Reconsiderations, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Bangladesh. 28 April.
- 2013. Revisiting Land Relations and Peasant Mobility in the Gangetic-Brahmaputra Valley, Cotton College, Guwahati, India. 19 October.
- 2013. The River and Trans-regional Turn in Asian History, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. 29 August 2013. From Mumbai to Shanghai: Imperial Waterspace at the Crossroads of India and China. South Asia Colloquium, Yale University, New Haven, USA. 10 April.
- 2013. An Environmental History of Dhaka, Institute of Asian & African Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. 8 February.
- 2011. Ecology and Colonial Agrarian Policy in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). Dhaka, Bangladesh. 18 October.
- 2010. The Great Bengal Famine Revisited: Boat Denial Policy and its Implications,’Professor Muhammad Ishaq Trust Fund Lecture, The Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh. 25 September.
- 2010. Situating Bangladesh in the Environmental History of Modern South Asia Centre for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies. Tufts University, USA. 16 March.
- 2009. The Great Bengal Famine of 1943: Towards an Ecological Prehistory.’ Centre for World Environmental History, University of Sussex, UK. 20 March.
- 2009. Wilderness and Social Power in Colonial Bengal, Centre of South Asian Studies seminar. SOAS, University of London, UK. 20 January.
- 2008. Genealogies of Disjuncture: Subjects and Civil Societies in Bangladesh, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations, Aga Khan University, London, UK, 4 December.
- 2008. Ecology, Technology and Empire: Railways in the Bengal Delta, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London, UK. 28 January.
- 2007. Reforming the Nation: Changes and Challenges in Bangladesh, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 7 August.
- 2004. Ecology and Society in the colonial Bengal Delta, Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge, UK. 1 December.
- 2004. Agrarian East Bengal and the Return of the Bhadralok, Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK. 12 October.
- 2003. Ecology, Economy and Society in the Eastern Bengal Delta, 1840-1943, National Archives of Bangladesh, Dhaka. Bangladesh. 3 December.
- 2003. Society and Ecology in the Bengal Delta in Colonial Bengal, The Asiatic Society, Kolkata, India. 23 July.
- 2003. Netaji Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata, India. 18 July.
Invited Conference Presentations
- 2015. ‘Rivers and Transregional Quests in Southern Asia’. At the conference on History of Global Climate Change: Water, Ecology, Politics and the Management of Nature. Organized by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS), Kolkata, India. 21-22 January.
- 2015. ‘Bengal’s Relations with Southern China and Southeast Asia’. At the conference on ‘Asia in Bengal and Bengal in Asia’. Organized by Netaji Research Bureau, Kolkata, India. 23-24 January.
- 2014. ‘Environmental Impact of the First World War: Afro-Asian Experiences’. Organized by The Alliance Francoise and the University of Dhaka, Dhaka. 25-25 February.
- 2014. ‘US contribution to Environmental History’. Bangladesh Association of American Studies. Dhaka. 22 February.
- 2013. ‘Reclaiming the Crossroads between India and China: A View from the River,’ Conference organized by IIT Guwahati and Indian Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi. Guwahati, India. 17-18 October.
- 2013. ‘Sources of Environmental History of Bangladesh,’ AHRC Network Meeting on Botanical and meteorological history of the Indian Ocean, 1500-1900. New Delhi, 30-31 August.
- 2012. ‘Governance and Eco-subjectivity in colonial Bengal Delta’. Conference on Asian Environments: Governing Nature, Negotiating Knowledge, Constructing Subjectivities. Rachel Carson Centre, Munich. 30 Nov-2 Dec.
- 2012. ‘Indian Ocean and the Bengal Muslim: Mind and Mobility’. Islam on the Indian Ocean Rim Conference at Tufts University. Medford MA. May 25-26,
- 2010. ‘The Space between the Nation and the Empire: 1905 and Trans-regional Trajectories on Northeastern India, Burma and Southwestern China’. Jointly organized by Tufts and Harvard University, Medford MA. 3-4 December.
Conference and Workshop pParticipation
- 2013. ‘From Ganga to Brahmaputra: Imperial Shift in Eastern India, 1770-1905’. At the annual conference of the American Society for Environmental History, Toronto. 3-6 April.
- 2012. ‘From Calcutta to Canton: Rivers, Railways and Spatial Engagements across Northeastern South Asia and Southwestern China, 1853-1911’. At the conference on World Wide Asia: Asian Flows. Global Impacts, Leiden University, Leiden. 31 August-1 September.
- ‘Genealogy of Samaj: Tradition, Modernity and Civil Societies in Bangladesh’ Plenary Lecture at the 40th Years of Bangladesh: Retrospect and Future Prospects’ conference, Dhaka 26-29 November 201. Organized by BRAC University, Bangladesh and BATH University, UK.
- 2011. ‘Rivers, Railways and Spatial Engagements in Northeastern South Asia and Southwestern China’ on the panel 27: ‘Bengal and Transnational History’ at the joint conference of the AAS and ICAS (Honolulu, 31 March-3 April; travel grants awarded, but couldn’t attend).
- 2009. ‘Organizing Moral Economy: Civil Society and Samaj in Bangladesh,’ Fulbright Alumni Association of Bangladesh (FAAB), Dhaka. 21 November.
- 2009. ‘Beyond Ideological Paradigms: Towards a Post-Civil Society Development Space in Bangladesh?’ Centre for Civil Society, London School of Economics, London. 25-26 February.
- 2007. ‘Approaches to Moderate Islam in Asia: Bangladesh Perspective,’ International Convention of Asia Scholars ICAS5, Kuala Lumpur. 2 August.
- 2005. ‘Political Ecology of Partition of Bengal (1905), International Seminar on the Centenary of the Partition of Bengal, University of Rajshahi. 25-26 November.
- 2004. ‘Railways and the Water Regime of the Eastern Bengal Delta: A Reappraisal’, 18th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, Lund, Sweden. July.
- 2004. ‘Wastelands, Colonial Control and Agrarian Society in Bangladesh, c. 1840-1900’, Workshop on ‘Waste and Wastelands: Historical Approaches to Contemporary Issues,’ AHRB Research Centre for Environmental History, University of St Andrews, UK, 30 June.
- 2003. Panel: ‘South Asian History’, 3rd International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS3), National University of Singapore, Singapore, 19-22 August.
- 2002. 17th Conference of the International Association of the Historians of Asia (IAHA), Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- 2002. The Commonwealth and Overseas Seminar. St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, UK. 2 May.
Organisation of Conferences/Panels
- 2012. Panel convenor. ‘Beyond the Borderlands. Ecology and transregional engagements across Bengal, Assam, Myanmar and Yunnan, c.1800-1950’. The 3rd Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network on ‘Connections, Corridors and Communities’. Singapore. 11-13 October.
- June 2013. Waterspace, Empire and Mobility in Southeastern Asia and Southern China (Humboldt University Berlin).
- May 2013. Situating Bangladesh in South Asian Studies (Humboldt University Berlin).
- Member, Advisory Board, Conservation and Society (Peer journal, Bengaluru).
- Member, The Association for Asian Studies, Michigan, USA.
- Member, Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) network "Collaborative research on the meteorological and botanical history of the Indian Ocean, 1600-1900".
- Fellow, Cambridge Commonwealth Society, Cambridge, UK.
- Member, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Occasional Referee (selected)
- Duke University Press, USA
- Environment and History/White Horse Press, UK
- Modern Asian Studies/Cambridge University Press, UK
- Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient (JESHO), Netherlands
- Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Bangladesh
- Routledge, Oxford, UK
- University Press Limited, Bangladesh
- European Research Council
- 2010-11 Co-investigator with Kris K. Manjapra (Tufts University, USA) and Neilesh Bose (Victoria University, Canada). ‘Visualizing Oral Histories Using Digital Tools: Bengali Intellectuals and Decolonization). Sponsored by National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research. The project facilitates oral histories of intellectuals born in the era of late colonialism and decolonization (c. 1920-1950). It explores the webs of association between ideas, culture, social experience and urban geography in the age of decolonization in South Asia. It also integrates these important historical records into a hypermedia web archive, using new visualization and search tools to make the oral histories readily accessible to the public.
- 2014-15 Co-investigator with Imtiaz Ahmed. Tertiary Education & the Democratization of the State and Society: Challenges and Opportunities in Student Politics and Youth Mobilization in Bangladesh. Sponsored by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Berlin, Germany.
- Aga Khan Development Network, Geneva, Switzerland.
- BRAC, Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Cambridge International Examinations, Cambridge, UK.
- Centre for Policy Dialogue Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- National Bureau of Asian Research, Washington D.C.