Profile picture of Dr. Pallavi V. Das

Dr. Pallavi Das

Associate Professor
Graduate Coordinator

Phone Number: 
+1 705-330-4010ext. 2638
Office Location: 
Orillia, Simcoe Hall OA3019
Office Hours: 
Email to request an appointment
Academic Qualifications: 
  • Ph.D. History (The Ohio State University, USA)
  • M.A. Anthropology (University of Hyderabad, India)
  • B.Sc. (Osmania University, India)
Date joined Lakehead: 
Previous Teaching/Work: 

Dr. Das' main areas of teaching include world history, environmental history and modern South Asian history. The courses that she has taught and teaches include Global Environmental History, Imperialism and the Environment, Imperialism and the Developing World, History of Science, Asia since 1500, Modern South Asia and South Asia in the World. Before joining the Orillia campus, she spent seven years at the Thunder Bay campus where she also served as the Department's Graduate Coordinator. Prior to joining Lakehead University, she taught at the University of Toronto (Mississauga campus) and at Queen's University, Kingston.

Prospective graduate students interested in the above-mentioned fields are welcome to contact her.

Research Interests: 

Dr. Das specializes in environmental history of modern South Asia. She has published articles in leading journals such as Environment and HistoryJournal of Asian and African Studies, Modern Asian Studies, and History Compass. Her book Colonialism, Development, and the Environment: Railways and Deforestation in British India published by Palgrave Macmillan examines the colonial encounter between Britain and India in the field of economic development, including scientific/technological changes, and the environmental impact of this encounter on India.

Dr. Das' research has recently focused on what she calls people's history of the environment in contemporary times. In particular, she has studied people's history of climate change in various ecological contexts such as the Western Himalayas and Chilika lagoon in India. This research has been funded by SSHRC’s Insight Development grant. Some of this work has been published in Geo Journal, Perspectives in History and as a chapter in the edited book The Right to be Rural. One of her emerging interests is in science and superstition in the everyday lives of people: within this broad area, she is researching how superstitions affect ordinary people's responses to the Covid-19 pandemic in India and consequently whether people's belief in science has changed. This research will be a springboard for a larger project on the comparative history of pandemics in colonial and post-colonial India.

Dr. Das is currently writing her book manuscript Environment, Society and Science in India: Colonial and Contemporary Perspectives to be published by Brill (Leiden/Boston). In this book, she examines what have been the scientific and non-scientific responses of ordinary men and women to environmental challenges in colonial and contemporary India, and how these responses relate to the views of scientific experts. This book connects to the emerging world literature on ‘the death of experts’.

Dr. Das was the founding director of Resources, Economy and Society Research Group (RESRG) at Lakehead University, which was funded by SSHRC’s Aid to Small Universities Grant.