Associate Professor, School of Foreign Service
Professor Ali's research and teaching focus on nineteenth and twentieth century South Asia and global histories of capital. He is particularly interested in how the material and everyday lives of ordinary men and women are shaped by transnational circulations of commodities and capital. He explored how global capitalism shaped peasant life and society in the Bengal delta during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in his first book, A Local History of Global Capital: Jute and Peasant Life in the Bengal Delta (Princeton University Press, 2018). He is continuing this exploration in his current project, an examination of how decolonization, independence, and the rise of the nation-state restructured the working lives of peasants, boatmen, itinerant traders, and small businessmen in post-colonial East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh) in the 1950s and 1960s.