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History Lecture: Rohit De
Start Date: 5/3/2018Start Time: 4:00 PM
End Date: 5/3/2018End Time: 5:30 PM

Event Description
"The Kenyatta Trial as an International Legal Event: Decolonization, Diasporas and a Global History of Rebellious Lawyering"


Rohit De is a lawyer and historian of modern South Asia and focuses on legal history of the Indian subcontinent and the common law world. Prof De is interested in not just what the law was, but what did people, both experts and ordinary men and women, think it was and how did they use this knowledge to negotiate their daily lives.

Professor De's book "The People's Constitution: Litigious Citizens and the Making of Indian Democracy" (forthcoming 2018) explores how the Indian constitution, despite its elite authorship and alien antecedents, came to permeate everyday life and imagination in India during its transition from a colonial state to a democratic republic. Mapping the use and appropriation of constitutional language and procedure by diverse groups such as butchers and sex workers, street vendors and petty businessmen, journalists and women social workers, it offers a constitutional history from below.

He continues to write on the social and intellectual foundations of constitutionalism in South Asia. demonstrates how events conventionally understood as "national political trials" in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Seychelles, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, British Guyana and the United Kingdom were produced by, and as part of, a transnational movement for civil liberties in the 1950s. The project follows the careers of lawyers who defended unpopular causes across space and time, to offer an alternate history of universal rights and civil liberties that arise out of Asia and Africa and is mediated through India, Chinese and Caribbean diasporas.

He is currently working on two research projects. The first, supported by the Social Science Research Council, stands at the intersection of multiple fields: histories of human rights; decolonization and the Cold War; diaspora studies; and history of the legal profession.

Contact Information:
Phone: 215.571.3852
Email: history@drexel.edu
De portrait
3401 Market Street, Rm 110, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (Drexel or government-issued ID required for entry)
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