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Forschungsstelle für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte

Ashoka Vardhan Manchala

Ashoka Vardhan Manchala, M.A.

  • Assistent
+41 44 634 36 62

Research Interests

  • Region & time period: India, Britain, princely states, Western Europe, late 19th century, 20th century
  • Themes: Economic history, environmental history, energy history, political economy, history of science
  • Keywords: Coal, fossil fuels, energy financing, landscapes
  • Other interests: History of poverty, inequality

Dissertation Project

"Extracting Coal in Hyderabad: Making of a Political and Economic Resource, c. 1871-1948" (tentative title)
My current focus is on three questions based in the princely state of Hyderabad (now in south-central India), British India and Europe: 1. How did coal become resource in Hyderabad after its first economic discovery? 2. What was the role of international finance and scientific networks in the creation of this coal’s value? 3. How did the new coal company change the landscapes? The sources are currently in English and Telugu.


Academic Biography

2022 onward    PhD candidate and Academic Assistant to the Anthropocene History Chair, Department of History, University of Zürich, Switzerland

2020-22    MPhil Modern History, Thesis: “Reporting and Discussing Poverty: The Indian Print Media, c. 1965-1995", Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

2015-17    MA Modern History, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

2012-15    BA (Hons.) History, St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, India


Work and Projects

2019-20    Research Assistant at the Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi, with the Challineq Project (CNRS) studying historical changes in inequality in India through surveys.

2018-19    Worked with archive related projects at Sarai Archives, Centre for Studies in Developing Societies, New Delhi, and Archiv der Avantgarden in Dresden, Germany.


Paper Presentations


Additional Information

  • Proficient in Telugu, English, Hindi (Hindustani); intermediate German
  • Alumnus of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Palair, and Nava Bharath Public School, Paloncha