Year of Establishment : 1913
History of the department : The Faculty of Arts, which was one of the four faculties that comprised the University of Calcutta, used to teach courses on History and Culture from a very early date. In 1913 the Department of History was established as a distinct entity within the Faculty of Arts, with eminent historians like Subodh Chandra Mukherjee, Rakhaldas Banerjee teaching in the department. A chair of Ancient Indian History and Culture was founded at the initiative of Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee for which the first appointee was Professor George Thibaud. In 1919, M.A degree in Ancient Indian History and Culture was introduced and the subject was taught under the department of History. Later in 1932, a separate department of Ancient Indian History and Culture was created. In 1930, a Chair Professor of Medieval and Modern Indian History was instituted in the name of Ashutosh Mukherjee, Professor Surendranath Sen being the first to hold it. In 1940 a separate department of Islamic History and Culture was set up to teach Islamic History and Culture at the post-graduate level. Since then the Department of History as a post graduate department primarily focused on Indian History from Late Medieval to Modern Period, History of Europe and other Non-European Countries. The post graduate syllabus was upgraded to included new areas of study with compulsory papers on colonial period from 1757-1947, History of China and Japan, History of Europe, Industrial revolution, Intellectual History and Political Thought, Indian Foreign Policy. There were also elective papers on a wide range of new subjects. The Department offers courses that lead to M.A, M.Phil and Ph.D degrees. The syllabus is regularly updated to include new areas of research. A fair number of eminent historians such as Professors Surebdranath Sen, Indubhushan Banerjee, Anil Chandra Banerjee, N.K. Sinha, Amalesh Tripathi, Arun Dasgupta, Benoy Bhushan Chaudhuri played a pioneering role in different fields of historical research over the years, helping the department obtain UGC-Department of Special Assistance (DSA) programme as early as 1977. The department passed through four phases of the DSA programme by 2006, during which faculty members developed diverse specialisations like economic history of India, history of nationalism, and social history and helped obtain the status of Centre for Advanced Studies in 2007. The Department entered the second phase of the CAS programme in 2013, in course of which invited lectures, international and national level seminars and Conferences were organised by the Department on regular basis. As new areas of research open up our faculty and students have begun to engaged in research on urban history, Gender, Identity Politics, Intellectual History, History of Science Technology and Medicine, Contemporary History, and Decolonisation. The department continues to create an environment of cutting-edge research in the discipline of history as well newly-emerging interdisciplinary fields. It looks forward to a future of intellectual exchange at home and abroad, and to promote a better understanding of human experience through the lens of history.
Special award/ recognition from UGC or related statutory body : The Department of History University of Calcutta was upgraded as Centre for Advanced Study by the University Grants Commission in May 2007 and continues as Centre of Advanced Studies for the second term from 2013
Collaborations : Linnaeus Palme Exchange Programme Between Uppsala University and Calcutta University Linnaeus Palme Exchange programme between Uppsala University and Calcutta University is an exchange Programme of Faculty and Students of both universities. It started in 2005 and began with the department of Ethnology Uppsala University and History Department Calcutta University. Next year Department of History Uppsala University took the responsibility of coordinating the programme. Then onwards the programme has run uninterruptedly between the departments of History of both Universities. There are future possibilities of the programme having a new dimension with a focus on specific courses on migration and refugee problem in global perspective.
Campus : Alipore
Address for communication : 1 Reformatory Street, 4th floor, Calcutta-700027