Michael S. Dodson

Professor, Department of History

Department of History

  • msdodson@indiana.edu
  • (812) 855-6286
  • Ballantine Hall 859
    1020 E Kirkwood Ave
    Bloomington, IN47405
  • Office Hours
    M onday
    By appointment
    T uesday
    By appointment
    W ednesday
    By appointment
    Th ursday
    By appointment
    F riday
    By appointment
IU; IU Bloomington

Full Biography

Michael S. Dodson is a historian of South Asia, focusing particularly on the intellectual and cultural history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a special interest in urbanism and architecture.  He is currently writing a history of modernist architecture and city planning in Delhi during the 1960s and '70s.  He is also writing about black metal, anti-fascism, aesthetics and ethics.

His most recent book, Bureaucracy, Belonging, and the City in North India, 1870-1930, published in 2020, is a study of local governance and urban identity in the cities of Banaras (Varanasi) and Jaunpur.  

He has written for journals such as Modern Asian StudiesComparative Studies in Society and HistoryModern Intellectual History, for the online journal PLATFORM, as well as for the Indian popular press.  

Research Interests

  • Modern South Asia
  • Architecture and urbanism
  • Megacities and contemporary urban aesthetics
  • British imperialism in South Asia
  • Intellectual history
  • Heavy Metal


  • Ph.D. at University of Cambridge, 2003

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to South Asian History and Civilization
  • Modern South Asia
  • Global Heavy Metal
  • Britain and its Empire
  • World Cities
  • World Architecture
  • Postcolonial Theory (graduate)
  • Urban History (graduate) 
  • Empire and Imperialism (graduate)