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Oyndrila Sarkar


Oyndrila Sarkar


  • GPTS-5
  • Assistant Professor of History, Presidency University, Kolkata (On Leave)

Contact information

About Oyndrila Sarkar

Oyndrila joined the Cluster's Graduate Programme For Transcultural Studies (GPTS) in October 2013, supervised by Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz (Intellectual History, and Research Area C - Knowledge Systems)

In 2007, she graduated from Presidency College, Kolkata with a Bachelor of Arts in History, and was awarded her Master of Arts in History, with a special focus on Social History in 2009, from the University of Calcutta. She then completed her MPhil research from the Centre for Historical Studies, at the School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, supervised by Prof. Radhika Singha, (SSS/CHS) and Prof. Deepak Kumar (SSS/ZHCES). The MPhil thesis was entitled, "Cartographic Conquests: Men, Machines, Methods 1830-1870".

Oyndrila's doctoral project explores the antecedents of the construction of the Indian state through a study of the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India (GTSI) and its survey operations. It studies the work and the working relationships the GTSI entailed, and inanimate objects viz. the tools and instruments of surveying seen as relevant social actors in these survey networks, and looks at the men, materials and the non-methodical methods of state formation on the borderlands of what became the Indian state. 

Curriculum vitae


MPhil in History (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2012)

MA in History (University of Calcutta, Kolkata, 2009)

BA in History (Presidency College, Kolkata, 2007)

Selected publications

Seminars and Conferences:

Rules of Mapping: The Making of Surveyors and of Surveying in Nineteenth Century India’ American Association of Geographers Annual Conference, San Francisco, 2016 (forthcoming)

The Brothers Schlagintweits in India and High Asia: 1854-57’ New Zealand Asian Studies Society, Biennial Conference, November 2015

"Scientific Innovators or Native Informants: Radhanath Sikdar, Mohsin Hussain and the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India" (Presented at the Annual Conference of the British Association for South Asian Studies), Royal Holloway College, University of London, 2014

'eStories of Mapping’, at the seminar, The Digital Humanities In India: Remediating Cultures And Texts, J.C Bose Auditorium, Presidency University, Kolkata, September 2012

Mapping the Milestones: Cartography Through History”, (Presented at Perspectives, Department of History, University of Calcutta, March 2009


Sarkar, O. (2014) “Geopolitics and the GTSI: The Schlagintweit Brothers in India 1854-1857”, Indian Journal Of Spatial Science, EISSN 2249-4316, Vol. V, No.1 - 2014

Sarkar, O. (2012) “Great Trigonometrical Survey – Histories Of Mapping 1790-1850”, eTraverse: The Online Indian Journal Of Spatial Science, The Geographical Institute, Presidency University, Kolkata, ISSN: 2249-4316, Vol. III No. 1  — 2012, Article 4

Sarkar, O. (2011) Book Review of “The Archaic and the Exotic: Studies in the History of Indian Astronomical Instruments” New Delhi, Manohar” by Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma. Contemporary South Asia, 2011, ISSN 0958-4935 Vol 19, Issue 4,  2011, pages 471-479

Poster Presentation:

Sarkar, O. (2013) 'Men, Machines, Maps: The Great Trigonometrical Survey of India' Poster session at the International Summer School, organized by the Cluster of Excellence, Asia and Europe in a Global Context, August 2013 "Sites of Knowledge: Space, Locality and Circulation between Asia and Europe", Karl Jaspers Centre.