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Durham University

Research & business

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Dr Souvik Naha, PhD

Assistant Professor (Research) in the Department of History

(email at

As a historian of modern South Asia, I primarily engage with the formation of leisure cultures and what they tell us about the global and transnational flows of culture. I have used the perspectives of cricket and the mass media to identify the forms of these flows in the context of India. This has helped me to recast some of the notions associated with colonial power, postcolonial resistance, and cultural hybridity. To do so, I have specifically focused on hitherto unexplored cultural enclaves, transnational networks, and the paradoxes of reinterpretation.

I am currently working on my European Commission funded (844096 - SPORTDIPL) postdoctoral project on the role of sport in Britain-India encounters in the fields of international politics, migration and cultural exchange after India's independence. My project examines: (i) what the synergy between national governments and non-state actors such as sport associations, media persons, athletes and spectators reveals about sport as a tool of public diplomacy; (ii) traces of the colonial hierarchies of race, ethnicity, gender and class in postcolonial sport and its spectators; and (iii) the mobilisation of nationalism and national identity as a postcolonial strategy of building the nation through sport.

I serve as the Associate Editor of Sport in Society, Editor of Sport in History, and Book Reviews Editor of Soccer & Society.

Research Groups

Department of History

Research Interests

  • Global and transnational history
  • Modern South Asia
  • Sport and leisure
  • Decolonisation


Authored book

  • Naha, Souvik (Forthcoming). A Field Full of Shades: Cricket in Modern India. Cambridge University Press.

Chapter in book

  • Naha, Souvik (2018). “The Russian deadpan expert” vs “America’s white hope” The Personal, the National, and the Global in the ‘Cold War’ of Chess. In Beyond Boycott: Sport during the Cold War in Europe. Vonnard, Philippe, Sbetti, Nicola & Quin, Gregory De Gruyter. 179-194.
  • Naha, Souvik (2018). A State without a Nation? Historicising India’s “Conspiracy” against Bengal and its Cricketers. In Sport and Contested Identities: Contemporary Issues and Debates. Hassan, David & Acton, Ciaran Routledge. 132-148.
  • Naha, Souvik (2018). Jagmohan Dalmiya: The Prometheus of Modern Cricket? In Global Sport Leaders: A Biographical Analysis of International Sport Management. Bayle, Emmanuel & Clastres, Patrick Palgrave Macmillan. 395-415.
  • Naha, Souvik (2018). Sport in Emerging Markets. In Managing Sport Business. Hassan, David Routledge. 115-130.
  • Naha, Souvik (2018). Visually Playing Politics: Use of Sports as Political Critique in Newspaper Cartoons. In Visual Histories of South Asia. Motrescu-Mayes, Annamaria & Banks, Marcus Primus. 209-229.
  • Naha, Souvik (2014). Sport Controversy, the Media and Anglo-Indian Cricket Relations: The Vaseline Incident in Retrospect. In Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Sport and Leisure. Fletcher, Thomas & Dashper, Katherine Routledge. 149-159.

Edited book

Edited Journal

  • Bandyopadhyay, Kausik & Naha, Souvik (2019). Moments, Metaphors, Memories: Defining Events in the History of Soccer. Soccer & Society, 20 (7-8): Taylor & Francis.

Journal Article

  • Majumdar, Boria & Naha, Souvik (2020). Live sport during the COVID-19 crisis: fans as creative broadcasters. Sport in Society 23(7): 1091-1099.
  • Mitra, Sarbajit & Naha, Souvik (2017). Politics and International Fandom in a Fringe Nation: La Albiceleste, Maradona, and Marxist Kolkata. Sport in Society 20(5-6): 660-674.
  • Naha, Souvik (2017). With or without Cricket? The Two Lives of the English Game in a Decolonizing India. Sport in Society 20(10): 1405-1423.
  • Naha, Souvik (2015). Cricket, Film, Glamour Industry and Promotional Culture in India, 1913-2013. Sport in History 35(3): 312-330.
  • Naha, Souvik (2014). Of Magic and Mania: Reflections on the Fan Following of Brazilian Football and Pelé in Calcutta. Soccer & Society 15(5): 803-819.
  • Naha, Souvik (2013). Politics in the Sport Press: Contrasting Representations of the Battle of Eden Gardens, Calcutta, 1967. Sport in Society 16(9): 1120-1134.
  • Naha, Souvik (2012). Adams and Eves at the Eden Gardens: Women Cricket Spectators and the Conflict of Feminine Subjectivity in Calcutta, 1920-70. International Journal of the History of Sport 29(5): 711-729.
  • Naha, Souvik (2012). Producing the First Indian Cricketing Superhero: Nationalism, Body Culture, Consumption and the C.K. Nayudu Phenomenon. International Journal of the History of Sport 29(4): 562-582.

Selected Grants

  • 2019: Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship
  • 2013: Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship