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Dr Shrikant Botre

Wellcome Trust Research Fellow

Room: R. 229, Ramphal Building

Email: Shrikant.S.Botre@warwick.ac.uk

Research Interests

I work on the histories of social hierarchy, health, and power – specifically, on how cultural constructions of science shaped the late-colonial and post-colonial Indian understandings of modernity. Broadly informed by the politics of progressivism, my research interest lies at the intersection of caste, food, sexuality, and print media networks. While generously funded by the Wellcome Trust, my ongoing postdoctoral research entitled “The Invention of Vegetarian India: Marathi Dietary Politics, 1900-1960” analyses the historical relationship between the everyday understanding of food, health, and social power. By reading an array of nutrition literature published in western India, I demonstrate how the process of “science-ing” food functioned as an epistemic tool for restructuring modern Brahminism. My doctoral work, entitled “The Body Language of Caste: Marathi Sexual Modernity, 1920-1950” maps a range of sexual discourses that illuminate the historical nexus between reproduction and the reproduction of caste in western India. By examining popular Marathi sex literature, I interpret constructions of scientific sexuality and sexual reform as modes of reproducing deeply ingrained arguments for maintaining Brahminical caste hierarchies.

Academic Profile

  • Wellcome Research Fellow, Department of History, University of Warwick, 2019- Present.
  • Early Career Fellow, Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick, 2017-2018.

Education

  • Ph.D History, University of Warwick, 2018.
  • M.Phil. History, University of Pune, 2005.
  • M.A. History, University of Pune, 1998.
  • B.A. History, University of Pune, 1995.

Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards

  • Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship in Humanities and Social Science, 2019-2022
  • Early Career Fellowship, Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick, 2017-2018.
  • Chancellor’s International Doctoral Scholarship, University of Warwick, 2013-2017.
  • Fellow, Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai, 2014
  • Fellow (for a summer Institute- “Towards a Global History of Sexual Science”), Leslie Centre for the Humanities, Dartmouth College, Hanover, 2013.
  • Dr. Arvind Deshpande M.Phil. Dissertation Award, History Teachers’ Association, Pune, 2007.

Publications

Monograph (Marathi)

  • Maharashtratil Nagarikaran ani Telugu Samaj, 1850-1926 [Urbanisation in Maharashtra and the Migrant Telugu Community], (Pune: Diamond Publications, 2006).

Refereed Journal Articles:

  • Shrikant Botre and Douglas Haynes, “Sexual Knowledge, Sexual Anxieties: Middle-Class Males in Western India and the Correspondence in Samajswasthya, 1927-1953”, Modern Asian Studies, March 2017.

Book Chapters

  • Shrikant Botre and Douglas Haynes, “Understanding R.D. Karve: Brahmacharya, Modernity, and the Appropriation of Global Sexual Science in Western India, 1927-1953”, in Douglas Haynes, Veronika Fuechtner and Ryan Jones (eds.), A Global History of Sexual Science, (Oakland: University of California Press, 2018).

Invited Lectures

  • “The Legacy of Sex Education in Western India: Problem of a Progressive Quest”, S.N.D.T. Women’s University, Mumbai, November 2018.
  • “Archives and the Historian”, Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai, October 2016.
  • “Understanding R.D. Karve: Brahmacharya, Modernity, and the Appropriation of Global Sexual Science in Western India, 1927-1953” with Prof. Douglas Haynes. Plenary presentation at the workshop “What is the History of Body?”, Institute of Historical Research (IHR), London, March 2014.
  • “Historicising Modern Maharashtra: Beyond Dominant Frames”, Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai, October 2014.

Conference Presentations and Panel Discussions

  • "Reproductive Diet of a Brahmachari: Celibacy, Nutrition, and Caste in Late-colonial Western India" Presented at "You are What You Eat: Food and Identity from the Middle Ages to the Modern" (Food and Drink History Conference), University of Warwick, June 2021.

  • "The Brahminical Impossibility of Meat: Protein Politics in Western India, 1890-1950", Presented at "Food Encounters: A Network Conference" organised by Global Research Priorities- Food, University of Warwick, U.K., February 2020.

  • "The Body Language of Caste: Sexual Modernity in Western India, 1920-1950", Manuscript Review Workshop, Department of History, Dartmouth College, U.S., December, 2019.

  • “A Global History of Sexual Science and Asia”, Roundtable Discussion Organised at the New England Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, Dartmouth College, Hanover, December 2019.
  • “The Brahminical Impossibility of Meat: Protein Politics in Late Colonial Western India (1890-1950).” Presented at the New England Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, Dartmouth College, Hanover, December 2019.
  • “Nutrition and the Making of Marathi Sexology, 1920-1950.” Presented at the Workshop “Caste-ing Nutrition: The Politics of Health and Food in Modern India”, University of Warwick, June 2018.
  • Garbhadhana: the Brahminical Conception of Marathi Sexual Modernity.” Presented at the symposium “The Pregnant Archive: Materializing Conception to Birth”, Birkbeck, University of London, November 2017.
  • “The Body of Caste: Making Modern Marathi Sexual Anatomy.” Presented at the workshop “Sex, Race and Reproduction in Global South”, Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science, University of Sydney, April 2017.
  • “The Body of Caste: Making Modern Marathi Sexual Anatomy.” Presented at the Association of Asian Studies Annual Conference, Toronto, March 2017.
  • “India: No Country for Beef?” Panel discussion on the documentary film “Caste on the Menu Card”. Another India, University of Warwick, February 2016.
  • “The Caste-d Legacy of Marathi Journalism”. Delivered at the conference “Spaces of Caste: Resistance and Persistence”, Another India, University of Warwick, April 2015.
  • “Sexual knowledge and the Question of Authority: Marie Stopes’ India Correspondence (1920-1950).” Presented at the Post Graduate Conference, Department of History, University of Warwick, May 2014.
  • “Understanding R.D. Karve: Brahmacharya, Modernity, and the Appropriation of Global Sexual Science in Western India, 1927–1953”, with Prof. Douglas Haynes. Presented at Leslie Humanities Centre, Dartmouth College, Hanover, August 2013.

Conferences, Workshops and Discussion Groups Organised

  • Co-Convener, “Food and Drink History Reading Group”, Department of History, University of Warwick, 2019-Present.
  • “Caste-ing Nutrition: The Politics of Health and Food in Modern India”, Workshop organised for the Centre for the History of Medicine and the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick, June 2018.
  • Convener, “South-Asia Discussion Group”, Another India, University of Warwick, 2016-2017.
  • Co-Convener, “Reading Lunch”, Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick, 2016-2017.
  • “Archiving Caste in Maharashtra”, Workshop organised for the Interdisciplinary School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Pune, in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, March 2010.
  • “Understanding Interdisciplinarity”, workshop organised for the Interdisciplinary School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Pune, January 2008.
  • “Multidimensionality of Caste”, conference organised for the Interdisciplinary School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Pune, January 2008.

Teaching

  • Assistant Professor, History, Marathwada Institute of Journalism (visiting), Pune, 2004-2012.
  • Assistant Professor, History, FLAME University of Liberal Arts (visiting), Pune, 2009-2010.
  • Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Pune, 2007- 2008.
  • Assistant Professor, History Department, University of Pune, 2006-2007.
  • Assistant Professor, History, S.N.D.T. Women’s University (visiting), Mumbai 2003-2004.
  • Assistant Professor, History, Tilak Maharashtra University (visiting), Pune, 2001-2003.
  • Assistant Professor, History, Fergusson College (visiting), Pune, 2002.
  • Assistant Professor, History, V.G. Vaze College, Mumbai, 1999-2000.

Research Assistance

  • Research Collaborator with Prof. Douglas Haynes, Leslie Centre for Humanities, Dartmouth, U.S., (Mumbai and Pune based research work on the early twentieth century Marathi Sexual Health journal, Samajswasthya), 2011- 2012.
  • Maharashtra Facilitator for “Pathways to Higher Education - a Ford Foundation Global Initiative to Promote Inclusiveness in Higher Education”, Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, 2010-2011.
  • Project Assistant for “Social Movements in Maharashtra” (A project of archiving colonial non-Brahmin publications), Interdisciplinary School of Social Science - University of Pune, 2008-11.
  • Research Assistant to Prof. Douglas Haynes, Dartmouth College. (Mumbai and Pune based archival work for “Advertisements and the Middle Class in Western India, 1920-1950”), 2005-2006.