Dr Karuna Dietrich Wielenga
I completed my Ph.D in history from the University of Delhi and am currently Newton International Fellow at SIAS. I'm an economic and social historian working on south Asia. My work examines the history of labour outside large factories in what is now called the informal sector. My doctoral dissertation explored the changing world of handloom weavers in south India – and the economic restructuring of the industry – from the early nineteenth to the mid twentieth century. My current research is a study of the historical emergence of the informal sector in India, looking at the complex interactions and conflicts between labour, capital and the state in a variety of industries between 1930 and 1970. The end result was the denial of protection under labour laws to the large majority of Indian workers; many of the arguments used to justify this are echoed quite strikingly in the modern gig economy. I'm also working on a book based on my doctoral dissertation to be published in 2018 by the British Academy.
Office: 11 Bevington Road, Oxford, OX2 6LH