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Dr. Darinee Alagirisamy
Honorary Assistant Professor Darinee Alagirisamy


BA Hons. NUS; MPhil, PhD Cantab

Email Address


Research Projects | Publications | Courses


Dr. Alagirisamy is a historian of modern South and Southeast Asia. Her current research interests relate to poverty, social exclusion and governance in colonial India, with a focus on South Indian reform movements between the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. The transnational circulation of Indian reform movements in Southeast Asia, their impact on Indian communities settled therein, and the social history of the Tamil diaspora are related areas of interest. Dr. Alagirisamy received her MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies and PhD in History from Cambridge University.




Current Research Projects


Dr. Alagirisamy's current book project traces the history of prohibition's introduction in India, positioning the subject at the intersection of provincial and national politics, and the global temperance movement.

Her next major project will adopt a transnational approach to trace the development of temperance and dietary reform networks between India and British colonial territories in Southeast Asia, with a focus on the interwar period. Dr. Alagirisamy's work has been published in Modern Asian Studies and The Indian Economic and Social History Review. She teaches courses in alcohol and drug history and modern Indian history at Hong Kong University.






"Toddy, Race, and Urban Space in Colonial Singapore, 1900-1959," Modern Asian Studies, 53,5 (2019), pp. 1675-1699.


"The Problem with Neera: The (Un)Making of a National Drink in Late Colonial India," The Indian Economic & Social History Review, 56,1 (2019), pp. 77–97.


"The Self-Respect Movement and Tamil Politics of Belonging in Interwar British Malaya," Modern Asian Studies, 50,5 (2016), pp. 1547-1575.



Courses Taught


  • HIST2159 Chasing the Dragon: Alcohol, Drugs and Imperialism in Asia, 1700-2000
  • HIST2168 The Idea of India, c. 1600-1992