After doing my Bachelor of Arts with honours in History from Presidency College, Calcutta, I did my Masters in History from the University of Calcutta. A Commonwealth Scholarship tenable in the UK enabled me to do my PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
I started my teaching career as a guest lecturer in Presidency College, Calcutta, even while I was an UGC Junior Research Fellow. I joined City College, Calcutta, as a full-time lecturer in February 1986. I joined Jadavpur University as a lecturer in September 1986. In 1994 I was promoted to the post of senior lecturer by the University. Readership was conferred on me by Jadavpur University in 1999. I became an associate professor with the nomenclature of the post of reader being changed to that of associate professor by an order of the Government of West Bengal.
I served as the Head of the Department of History, Jadavpur University, from 01.04.2010 to 31.03. 2012.
Using mainly a social history perspective, I engage with women and gender, the city and urbanization, the environment and environmentalism, science and society, colonialism and nationalism, the political economy and cultural politics of neoliberal globalization, and development-induced displacement. Temporally, my focus is on the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first century. Geographically, South Asia, India and particularly Bengal/West Bengal are the areas on which I concentrate. But in my engagement with colonialism I also connectedly study imperialism and, therefore, the metropole. Again, in my study of global capitalism, the global North, the institutions of global governance and the hegemony of the US inevitably come within the purview of my academic concerns.
I was awarded Fulbright-Nehru Senor Research Fellowship, tenable at Brown University, USA, 2012-13, Charles Wallace India Trust (UK) grant-in-aid towards completion of doctoral research in the UK, 1996, The Commonwealth Academic Staff Scholarship (tenable at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) for Doctoral research in the UK during 1993-1996, UGC Junior Research Fellowship, 1984-85 and UGC National Scholarship for rank-holders in the First Class in the B.A. (Honours) Examination, 1980-81.