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Subah Dayal

Assistant Professor
(212) 992-3736
616 - 1 Wash Pl

Office Hours
Tuesday 10:00-12:00
Wednesday 10:00-12:00

B.A., History and English, Rutgers University, 2005
M.A., History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2009
Ph.D., History, University of California, Los Angeles, 2016

Subah Dayal is a historian of the Indian Ocean, with a focus on early modern South Asia and the Persianate world. Her current book draws on literary and archival materials in Persian, Urdu, and Dutch to examine how regional household lineages in the Mughal empire's peripheries transformed institutions and circulation networks in the Indian Ocean. Her research interests are in connected histories, household studies, comparative early modernities, global history, and pre-modern documentary and manuscript cultures. Her publications include "Vernacular Conquest? A Persian patron and his image in the 17th-century Deccan" in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (Duke, 2017); "Making the 'Mughal' Soldier: Ethnicity, Identification, and Documentary Culture in southern India 1600-1700" in the Journal of the Social and Economic History of the Orient (Brill, 2019), and "On Heroes and History: Responding to the Shahnama (The Book of Kings) in the Deccan 1500-1800," which will appear in the edited volume, Iran and the Deccan: Persianate Art, Culture, and Talent in Circulation (Indiana University Press, 2020). Dayal also developed pedagogical approaches for teaching connected histories in the classroom through an NEH Summer Institute Fellowship in 2017 on "Beyond East and West: Exchanges and Interactions across the Early Modern World (1400-1800)." After receiving her BA from Rutgers University and Masters from the Center for Historical Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, Dayal earned her PhD in History from UCLA, where her research was funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London. Before coming to Gallatin, she was assistant professor of South Asian history at Tulane University and Clemson University.

Awards & Honors


Kluge Fellowship

Subah Dayal has been awarded a 2022 Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress to research “The Household State: Empire and Belonging in the Mughal World.” Dayal will examine the Naqvi Family Collection in the Africa and Middle East Division.

Teaching and Research Interests

Indian Ocean before 1800  connected histories  medieval and early modern South Asia  historical sociology  the Persianate world  comparative Islamic empires  vernacular literature  household studies  migration and movement  global history  pre-modern documentary culture and manuscript studies 

Recent News


Subah Dayal wrote “Mohammed Shakeb: Preserver of Mughal Archival Documents and Reconstructor of Libraries” as a tribute to the polymath historian in The Wire, published in February 2021.

Dayal’s article, “Making the ‘Mughal’ Solider: Ethnicity, Identification, and Documentary Culture in Southern India, c. 1600-1700,” is included in the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient.


Subah Dayal was featured in “Histories of Migration and Exchange between Iran and the Deccan,” episode #30 of the Ajam Media Collective podcast in December 2020.


Subah Dayal