Bhavani Raman specializes in modern South Asian history. Her research focuses on scribal culture, education and bureaucracy under East India Company rule in early nineteenth century South India. Her teaching interests include colonialism and language politics, colonial law , textual practices in South Asia, and historical anthropology. She joined the history department at Princeton in the fall of 2007. Her research has been supported by grants from The Social Science Research Council, New York, and the American Institute of Indian Studies, Chicago.
Professor Raman is working on a book based on her dissertation entitled “Document Raj: Scribes and Writing in Company Rule Madras, 1780-1860.” She examines the relationship between scribes and the the English East India Company’s early colonial regime in the Tamil region in the nineteenth century. She looks at how the establishment of a new culture of writing and recordkeeping was integral to the establishment of early colonial rule reorganizing and transforming extant scribal ideologies and practices.