You are here

Anand Yang

College of Arts and Sciences Term Professor
Professor Anand Yang

Contact Information

(206) 543-4902
403 Thomson; 308C Smith


Ph.D. University of Virginia
BA Swarthmore College

I began my career specializing in South Asian History, specifically relating to colonial India. In recent years, my interests have increasingly become more comparative and global, comparisons and connections involving India, China, and other regions of Asia as well as in relation to the rest of the world. I have a joint appointment in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, a unit of which I was the director between 2002 and 2010.

My early scholarship dealt with peasants and agrarian societies under British colonial rule. One outcome of that work, based on archival research and fieldwork conducted in the north Indian state of Bihar, was a book on The Limited Raj: Agrarian Relations in Colonial India (Berkeley, 1989). From the outset, I also sought to pursue social history through the study of law and criminality, my initial foray into that realm concentrating on the ways in which colonial states deployed legal and criminal justice systems to criminalize certain social groups. My edited volume on Crime and Criminality in British India (Tucson, 1985) grew out of those concerns.

My 1999 book on Bazaar India: Markets, Society, and the Colonial State in Bihar (Berkeley) situates subaltern history in the world of commerce and culture. It highlights the economic, social, and cultural transactions that ordinary men and women engaged in to negotiate the market economy of colonial India. By then, I was also taken with world history, concerns that resulted in an edited volume (with Jerry Bentley and Renate Bridenthal) on Interactions: Transregional Perspectives on World History (Honolulu, 2005). And currently I edit a Perspectives on the Global Past series with the University of Hawaii Press and co-edit with Bonnie Smith a multi-volume New Oxford World History series published by Oxford University Press.

I have two books in various stages of production right now. The first is a study entitled Empire of Convicts that narrates the laboring stories of Indians who were banished to penal colonies in Southeast Asia for their criminal and/or political activities. The second is an annotated translation (with Kamal and Ranjana Sheel) of Thirteen Months in China, a remarkable book written in Hindi by an Indian subaltern who helped suppress the Boxer Uprising in China in 1900-1901. My next book project is on the north Indian labor diaspora to countries in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.

I teach South Asian and World History classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels in History and policy related classes in the Jackson School, most recently a Task Force class on global poverty and another on food politics. I also continue to be professionally active in the wider community, in the Puget Sound area as well as nationally and internationally, through participation in public events and service on various boards and committees.