Aditya Ramesh

Post-Doctoral Fellow | aramesh at iihs dot ac dot in

2019    PhD, History, SOAS University of London
2013    Masters, History, SOAS University of London, United Kingdom
2008    Bachelors, History, University of Delhi, New Delhi




Countries: India, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom
States: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka (India), Northern, North Central and Eastern (Sri Lanka)
Cities: Chennai, Bangalore and Jaffna
Languages: Tamil, Kannada, Hindi

Aditya has recently completed his PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His study examined rivers, experts and the economic life in colonial and postcolonial India. He is interested in writing environmental histories of the present, the geographies of natural resource exploitation and the increasing intersection between urbanisation and the environment. Aditya is Post-Doctoral fellow as part of a Global Challenge Research Fund grant looking to make cities in the global south sustainable.


His two long term projects include adapting the PhD dissertation, which was on the history of large dams on the Cauvery River, into a book, and developing a relatively new postdoctoral project on urban water, public health and non-human life in cities across the Bay of Bengal.

Research Projects at IIHS


2018 PEAK Urban project


Previous Teaching Experience:

Period (09/16- 07/18) SOAS, University of London; Courses on global history and environmental studies

Journal Articles

  • Ramesh, A. (2019). The value of tanks: Maintenance, ecology and the colonial economy in nineteenth-century South India. Water History, 1-23.
  • Ramesh, A. (2018). Custom as natural: Land, water and law in Colonial Madras. Studies in History, 34(1), 29-47.
  • Ramesh, A. (2016). Scientific commodities, imperial dreams. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol & Biomed Sci, 60, 88-91.


Other Writing

“Research note on the Tamilnadu State Archives (TNSA) collections,” Joint Centre for History and Economics at Cambridge University and Harvard University.

2018 The river and the urban frontier in the age of the Anthropocene, Environmental History Workshop, Institute of Historical Research, London
2018 Dams, deltas and the ‘economy’: the Cauvery’s twentieth century in the Age of the Anthropocene, Invited Lecture, World Environmental History Centre, University of Sussex, Sussex
2017 Developing water as multipurpose in interwar India, Histories of the Hydrosphere, Graduate Workshop, Georgetown University, Washington DC
2017 Development, ‘the economy’, and hydroelectricity in colonial south India,

Damned by Dams: Artefacts of Modernization and Conflicts of Transformation Workshop, Centre for Global Cooperation, Duisburg

2017 Historical sociology and the making of the nineteenth century environment, Bielefeld Annual Seminar, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld