Dr Amelia Bonea

I am a historian of South Asia and the British Empire, with a particular interest in the history of science, technology and medicine and media history. I was first drawn to the study of history as a teenager in post-communist Romania when, encouraged by my high school teacher, I participated in the National Competition of Romanian History and won the first prize. I soon developed an interest in Asian history and languages and after being awarded a scholarship from the Ministry of Education of Japan, I moved to Tokyo to pursue my studies. I graduated with a BLA and MA in Asian Area Studies from the University of Tokyo, followed by a PhD in Modern History from the University of Heidelberg.

My research to date has focused on the ways in which new technologies of communication have been used in various domains of social life and on the relationship between technology and health. My first monograph, The News of Empire: Telegraphy, Journalism, and the Politics of News Reporting in Colonial India, c.1830-1900 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016),  investigates the development of English-language news reporting in nineteenth-century India through the prism of technologies like the electric telegraph and steamers. It questions dominant narratives of a telegraphy-driven "media revolution" by conceptualizing the nineteenth century as a period of transition and arguing that news in India was a function not only of technology, but also of socio-economic status, imperial imperatives and changing journalistic standards.

After completing my PhD, I joined the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at the University of Oxford to work on a project about disease and mobile phones in urban India. This project used the controversies surrounding the installation of mobile towers on schools, hospitals and residential buildings as a springboard for pondering middle-class environmental activism in India, the role of science in public health policy and the role of the media in disseminating medical knowledge.

Since March 2014, I am a postdoctoral researcher on the ERC funded project "Diseases of Modern Life", coordinated by Prof. Sally Shuttleworth. As part of this project, I am examining occupational health in relation to clerks and other office workers in Victorian Britain and colonial South Asia.

  Modern History of South Asia, History of the British Empire, Media History, History of Science, Technology and Medicine



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