Modern South Asian Studies seminar HT21 Wk 6: Communist Internationalism and Decolonization in South Asia

Conveners: Imre Bangha, Polly O'Hanlon, and Kate Sullivan de Estrada

Speaker: Ali Raza (Lahore University of Management Sciences)


My paper charts the lives, geographies, and anti-colonial struggles of Indian revolutionaries and how they sought to remake the world. Driven by the utopian dreams of Communist Internationalism, these individuals yearned for a revolutionary upheaval that would overthrow European imperialisms and radically transform their societies and the world. In doing so, they joined millions around the world equally invested in the transformative project of Communist Internationalism, by far the most wide ranging radical project of the twentieth century. I present this global story from the vantage point of South Asia from the 1910s to the 1950s.


Ali Raza is a historian of South Asia. His research and teaching interests include the social and intellectual history of modern South Asia, comparative colonialisms, decolonization, and post-colonial theory. He is the author of  Revolutionary Pasts: Communist Internationalism in Colonial India (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and the co-editor of The Internationalist Moment: South Asia, Worlds, and World Views 1917–39 (Sage, 2014). Alongside his teaching and research, Dr Raza is also the co-curator and co-founder of the LUMS Digital Archive ( The Archive is dedicated to collecting, cataloguing and preserving materials of historical significance in Pakistan and making them freely available to students and researchers across the world. 


Pre-registration required. Please visit to book either for this seminar or the whole series.