Abikal Borah

Abikal Borah

Assistant Professor
Office: AL 557
Phone: (619) 594-1121
Email: [email protected]


Ph.D. in History, The University of Texas at Austin (2021)

M.A. in History, The University of Texas at Austin (2015)

M.Phil. in Comparative Literature, University of Delhi (2010)

M.A. in English Literature, University of Delhi (2008)

B.A. in English Literature, Ramjas College, University of Delhi (2006)

Abikal Borah is an Assistant Professor of History. Before joining SDSU, he was a Public History Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University. He completed his graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin where his doctoral dissertation was awarded the Outstanding Dissertation Award for Humanities and Fine Arts as well as the Lathrop Prize for being the best dissertation in history. His research focuses on entangled histories of race and violence in modern South Africa. His current book project, titled Violence of the Wretched: Origins of the Durban Riots of 1949, draws on extensive archival research conducted in Durban, Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg, and Pretoria. Exploring histories of migration, land, and labor in the province of Natal since the mid-nineteenth century, this monograph explains the social origins of the racial violence between the Zulus and the Indians in the port city of Durban in 1949. At SDSU he offers specialized courses in African history centered on themes such as violence and colonialism, history and memory, race and colonialism, colonial studies as global history, and a methodological course on ideas of history. In 2021-22, he was selected as an ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow. His peer-reviewed work has appeared in Africa Today, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, and Review: Fernand Braudel Center. 

Edited Volume

Sotunsa, Mobolanle E. and Abikal Borah. eds. Imagining Vernacular Histories: Essays in Honor of Toyin Falola. London and New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2020.

Journal Articles 

Borah, Abikal, Luis Picard Cataldo, and Toyin Falola. “Refashioning Gender Relations: Materiality of Love and Sex in Contemporary Nollywood.” Africa Today, 66, no. 1, (2019): 52-71.

Borah, Abikal. “Pluralizing the Narrative: Reconfiguring ‘Vernacular Modernism’ in Assamese Literary Culture.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 41, no. 3 (2018): 1-16.

Borah, Abikal. “A Region in a Mobile World: Integration of Southeastern sub-Himalayan Region into Global Capitalist Economy (1820-1900).” Review (Fernand Braudel Center), 37, no. 2 (2014): 87-127. 

Book Chapter

Falola, Toyin and Abikal Borah. “African Philosophies of History and Historiography.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Methods, Sources, and Historiography in African History, vol. 2, edited by Thomas Spear. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019, p. 1092-1110.