Rama Mantena
Assistant Professor
Department of History



Rama Mantena teaches courses relating to British colonialism in India, Indian nationalism and women and gender in Indian history. She is currently working on her book manuscript, “Disciplining History: The Making of Colonial Archives in South India, 1780-1880” which examines how a new historical method was assembled, employed and challenged through the focal point of one monumental colonial archive compiled by Colin Mackenzie (1753-1821), a surveyor employed by the English East India Company. Through an analysis of East India Company documents on the need for archives and the preservation of historical memory, the book explores how this initial foray into the Indian past shaped subsequent colonial discourses on the nature of historical narrative, historical consciousness, and more broadly the place of history in Indian textual traditions. An article that appeared in History and Theory 46 (October 2007) presents some of this material especially as it pertains to our reading and understanding of historical narratives from pre-colonial India.