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Subah Dayal

Assistant Professor
(212) 992-3736
606 - 1 Wash Pl

Office Hours
Tuesday 10:30 TO 12:30
Wednesday 10:30 TO 12:30

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 early modern South Asia, with a focus on the intersections of the Persianate and Indian Ocean worlds. Her first book manuscript, Between Household and State: The Mughal Frontier and the Politics of Circulation in Peninsular India (under contract with The University of California Press), draws on literary and archival materials in Persian, Urdu, and Dutch. It bridges two separate approaches in global history that are used to reconstruct a world before European colonialism – cultural studies of land-based agrarian courts (the “Persianate”) as well as the social history of maritime empires (“Indian Ocean”). Between Household and State examines how senses of belonging, embodied in the concept of ghar or house, shaped mobility and circulation across the varied ecologies of Mughal South Asia. For the completion of this book, she was awarded a Kluge fellowship at the Library of Congress in 2021-2022. Her broader research interests are in connected histories, household studies, comparative early modernities, global history, and pre-modern documentary and manuscript cultures.

Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, and Iran and the Deccan: Persianate Art, Culture, and Talent in Circulation, Past and Present, and The Wire. As a 2017 NEH Summer Fellow Dayal developed approaches for teaching connected histories on "Beyond East and West: Exchanges and Interactions across the Early Modern World (1400-1800)." Before Gallatin, Dayal taught at Tulane and Clemson. As a mark of her commitment to engaged learning, Dayal survived an epic mountain hike in the desert heat while taking Gallatin students to Oman.

Awards & Honors


Kluge Fellowship

Subah Dayal has been awarded a 2022 Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress to complete the research and writing of her first book manuscript. 

Teaching and Research Interests

Indian Ocean before 1800  connected histories  medieval and early modern South Asia  the Persianate world  comparative Islamic empires  household studies  global history  pre-modern documentary culture  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