Ali Raza is a historian specializing in the history of modern South Asia. He received his DPhil from the University of Oxford and was a research fellow at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin. His research and teaching interests include the social and intellectual history of South Asia, comparative colonialisms, decolonization and post-colonial theory. Raza’s work has appeared in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies; Itinerario; South Asian History and Culture; and Contemporary South Asia. He is also the co-editor of The Internationalist Moment: South Asia, Worlds, and World Views, 1917-39 (Sage, 2014) and the author of Revolutionary Pasts: Communist Internationalism in Colonial India. (Cambridge, 2020; Folio, 2020)
Communist Internationalism in Colonial India
by Ali Raza
In this engaging and innovative history of the communist movement in colonial India, Ali Raza reveals the lives, geographies and anti-colonial struggles of Indian revolutionaries and how they sought to remake the world. Driven by the utopian visions of Communist Internationalism, Indian revolutionaries yearned and struggled for a global upheaval that would overthrow European imperialisms and radically transform India and the world. In an age marked by political upheavals, intellectual ferment, collapsing empires and global conflicts, Indian revolutionaries stood alongside countless others in the colonised world and beyond in their desire to usher in a future liberated from colonialism and capitalism. Drawing from a wealth of archival materials, Raza demonstrates how Communist Internationalism was a crucial project in the struggle for national liberation and inaugurates a new approach to the global history of communism and decolonisation.
“Written with great flair, and refreshingly nonpartisan, Revolutionary Pasts will shift the paradigms of studying the Left in South Asia. Ali Raza embraces and acknowledges the complexity and dissonance he encounters in his archive, unpacking its agendas and offering them up to the reader with astute analysis, restoring race to histories of leftist activism.”
-Kama Maclean – University of New South Wales, Sydney
“Ali Raza captures the utopian imaginaries and the global itineraries that shaped Indian Communism, and brought Marx to the subcontinent in this beautifully written, meticulously researched book. His is a signal contribution to global intellectual history and to studies of Left thought and praxis.”
-Anupama Rao – Columbia University, New York
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: January 22, 2021
Rights: South Asia excluding India
Afia S. Zia is a feminist researcher with a doctoral degree in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. She is the author of Sex Crime in the Islamic Context (1994, ASR) and has contributed essays to several edited volumes including, Contesting Feminism: Gender and Islam in Asia and Voicing Demands.
Romila Thappar is Associate Professor of English specialising in Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Dayton. Her research and teaching emerge from her intersecting interests in global, gender and environmental issues and include South Asian literature and culture, environmental justice and ecofeminist theory. Rahman’s work has appeared in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, ariel: A Review of International English Literature, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Environmental Communication, and Lit: Literature, Interpretation, Theory. She is also the guest editor of a forthcoming special issue of South Asian Review titled “The Environment of South Asia” and the author of Place and Postcolonial Ecofeminism: Pakistani Women’s Literary and Cinematic Fictions (University of Nebraska Press, 2019; Folio Books, 2021).
Razi Azmi has lived in six countries across five continents and has visited many more, making a total of ninety-six. He has studied at universities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Russia and the United States, getting his PhD in modern history from Miami University, Ohio. An academic affiliated with Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad (Pakistan), he has also taught at universities in the US and Morocco. Finally settling down in Australia, he retired after many years of service with the government there. In retirement, he travels as often as possible. When not travelling, he works part-time as a translator and interpreter in five languages. Dr Azmi is the author of two books, dozens of research papers and hundreds of newspaper articles. He is married with two sons and four grandchildren.
Sopan Deb is a writer for the New York Times where he has covered culture and basketball. He is also a New York City–based comedian. Before joining the Times, Deb was one of a handful of reporters who covered Donald Trump’s presidential campaign from start to finish as a campaign embed for CBS News. He covered hundreds of rallies in more than forty states for a year and a half and was named a “breakout media star” of the election by Politico. At the New York Times, Deb has interviewed high-profile subjects such as Denzel Washington, Stephen Colbert, the cast of Arrested Development, Kyrie Irving, and Bill Murray. Deb’s work has previously appeared on NBC, Al Jazeera America, and in the Boston Globe, ranging from examining the trek of endangered manatees to following a class of blind filmmakers in Boston led by the former executive producer of Friends. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for Larger Than Life, a documentary he produced for the Boston Globe, which told the story of NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell’s complicated relationship with the city of Boston. He lives in New York City with his fiancée, Wesley.