Bhaswati Bhattacharya

1958 –
Modern history
South Asia, Bengal

Curriculum vitae

1958born in Kharagpur (West-Bengal) on January 26
1982MA modern history, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan
1983-1984B.Ed. course, Calcutta University
1985-1989PhD reserach at Visva Bharati and National Archives in The Hague
1990-1991guest lecturer, department of history, Vidyasagar University, West Bengal
1993PhD degree at Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan
1993-1994post-doctoral fellow, International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden
1994-1995translation project, the International Centre for Bengal Studies
1995-2000project of Leiden University and the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi
2000-2001affiliated fellow, Centre for Studies in Social Science, Kolkata
2001-2003lecturer (part time), Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata
2002-2004post-doctoral research fellow, Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi
2003-2004research fellow, Department of South Asian Studies, Leiden University.
2004-2005project fellow, Department of Asian Languages, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam
2006-2009project fellow and part-time lecturer, Leiden University
2008-2009lecturer (part time), Erasmus University, Rotterdam
2007-2010project co-ordinator, Plants, People and Work, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam
2010-presentThyssen Foundation fellow, Center for Modern Asian Studies at Göttingen University

Special activities and positions

  • Member of the European Association of Modern South Asian Studies
  • Member of the European Social Science and History Conference
  • Member of the Indian History Congress
  • Review editor of the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 2005-10



1989 Review of: S. Arasaratnam, Merchants, companies and commerce on the Coromandel coast, 1650-1740, Delhi 1986. Itinerario 13,2: 123-127.
1993  The Dutch East India Company and the Coromandel Coast 1740-1780: a story of its decline. – Unpublished PhD thesis Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan.
1994  “The textile trade of the Dutch East India Company on the Coromandel coast, 1730-1780.” International Institute of Asian Studies Year Book 1994: 187-206.
1995  “The Bay of Bengal, seminar 16-20 December 1994, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi,” IIAS Newsletter 5.
“The Dutch East India Company and the trade of the Chulias in the Bay of Bengal in the late 18th century.” In: K.S. Mathew (ed.), Mariners, merchants and oceans: studies in maritime history, New Delhi, pp. 347-361.
1996  Transl. Shunya-garbha company: Banglay Belgiamer aini ebong be-aini banijya (J. Parmentier’s De holle compagnie: smokkel- en legale handel van de Zuid-Nederlanders in Begalen, 1720-44, transl. from Dutch into Bengali with an introduction), Dhaka, 118 p.
“Porto Novo and the shipping in the Bay of Bengal in the mid-18th century.” In: J. Everaert and J. Parmentier (eds), Shipping, factories and colonization, Brussels.
“A note on shipbuilding in Bengal in the late eighteenth century.” Itinerario 19,3: 167-174.
1998  “The hinterland and the coast: the pattern of interaction in Coromandel in the late eighteenth-century.” In: Rudrangshu Mukherjee and Lakshmi Subramanian (eds), Politics and trade in the Indian Ocean world: essays in honour of Ashin Das Gupta, Delhi [etc.]: Oxford University Press, pp. 19-51.
1999  “The Chulia merchants of southern Coromandel in the eighteenth century: a case of continuity.” In: O. Prakash and D. Lombard (eds), Commerce and culture in the Bay of Bengal: 1500-1800, Delhi, pp. 285-305.
Review of: G. Knaap, Shallow waters, rising tide: shipping and trade in Java around 1775, Leiden: KITLV 1996. Itinerario
2001  “Nagapatnam and the commercial revolution in the Bay of Bengal.” In: J. Parmentier and S. Spanoghe (eds), Orbis in orbem: liber amicorum John Everaert, Gent, pp. 77-90.
Review of: Vahe Baladouni and Margaret Makepeace (eds), Armenian merchants of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries: English East India Company sources, Philadelphia, [PA] 1998. JESHO 44,2: 234-237.
Review of: Hugo K. s’Jacob, The Rajas of Cochin, 1663-1720: kings, chiefs and the Dutch East India Company, New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal 2000. Itinerario 22: 146-148.
2002  “Commerce in the Bay of Bengal in the 18th century.” Indian Association of Asian and Pacific Studies, Lecture Programmes I to IV, 2002: 33-44.
Review of: Jos Gommans, Lennart Bes and Gijs Kruijtzer, Dutch Sources on South Asia c. 1600-1825, vol. 1: Bibliography and Archival Guide to the National Archives at the Hague (The Netherlands), New Delhi 2001. JESHO 45,3: 412-414.
2003  “Between fact and fictions: Khoja Gregory alias Gurgin Khan, the “Evil Genius” of Mir Qasim.” In: Jos Gommans & Om Prakash (eds), Circumambulations in South Asian history : essays in honour of Dirk H.A. Kolff, Leiden [etc.] (Brill’s indological library 19), pp. 133-158.
2005  “Armenian European relationship in India, 1500-1800: no Armenian foundation for European empire?” JESHO 48,2: 277-322.
2007  & Gita Dharampal-Frick and Jos Gommans, “Spatial and temporal continuities of merchant networks in South Asia and the Indian Ocean (1500-2000).” JESHO 50,2/3: 91-105.
2008  “Bhuj: a little-known corner of Dutch heritage in India.” In: [Neelam D. Sabharwal, ambassador of India, ed.], Changing images: lasting visions: India and the Netherlands [collection of 35 essays published on the occasion of 400 years of Indo-Dutch relations] , Amsterdam: Nieuw Amsterdam, pp. 59-62.
“The book of will of Petrus Woskan (1680-1751): some insights into the global commercial network of the Armenians in the Indian Ocean.” JESHO 51,1: 67-98.
“Making money at the blessed place of Manila: Armenians in the Madras-Manila trade in the eighteenth century.” Journal of Global History 3,1: 1-20.
2010  “Mutual heritage of the Low Countries and South Asia [review article of two books pertaining to Dutch sources on South Asia, especially India, from the 1600s in particular].” JESHO 53,4: 653-660.
2014  “Local history of a global commodity: production of coffee in Mysore and Coorg in the nineteenth century.” Indian Historical Review 41,1: 67-86.
& Alied de Cock, Hanneke ’t Hart, Dory Heilijgers (red.), ‘Mijn Reis in India’, de dagboeken en foto’s van Jan Kornelis de Cock in India en Sri Lanka, 1909-1910, met een inleiding door Bhaswati Bhattacharya, Leiden-Groningen (Kern Institute Miscellanea 14).
2017“Smallholdings versus European plantations: the beginnings of coffee in nineteenth-century Mysore (India).” In: Willem van Schendel (ed.), Embedding agricultural commodities, using historical evidence, 1840s-1940s, London [etc.]: Routledge, pp. 55-77.
Much ado over coffee: Indian Coffee House, then and now. New Delhi: Social Science Press.