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Shounak Ghosh

Shounak Ghosh is a final-year doctoral candidate in early modern global history focusing on the Islamic world east of the Levant. His research examines shifting forms of diplomatic practice among the courts of the Mughal and Safavid empires, and the Deccan sultanates in peninsular southern India that communicated in Persian. His dissertation inquires into the processes of diplomatic mediation such as ambassadorial performance, epistolary arts, material cultures, and courtly etiquettes through a critical analysis of diplomatic correspondence in this transregional geography. He commands expertise in working with Persian manuscripts’ collections across genres, especially epistolary compositions (inshā’) scattered across archives in India and the UK. His advisor is Professor Samira Sheikh.

Shounak holds a B.A. Hons. in History from Presidency College, Kolkata, and M.A. and M.Phil. from the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His M.Phil. thesis, “Negotiating Rivalries: Trade, Territoriality and Diplomacy in Sixteenth-Century Coastal Gujarat and Western Deccan”, argued that the mercantile aspirations of the Portuguese Estado da India in the sixteenth-century western Indian Ocean were expressed and realized through diplomatic negotiations with Islamicate courts of South Asia that shared a geographical boundary with the coast and had vested interests in the maritime space. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Shounak served as an editorial assistant for Studies in History, a leading peer-reviewed journal in South Asian studies, published bi-annually from CHS, JNU by SAGE publications.