Vashna Jagarnath

History lecturer: Rhodes University

Thirty-two-year-old Vashna Jagarnath is a history buff. It's a fascination she first developed when she was young and one she intends to take into old age. During her early academic career she studied the history of Indian film in South Africa and the "social construction of race� in the coloured community of Sydenham, Durban, during apartheid. Last year she was awarded a prestigious Kresge Lectureship by her university for her focus on "subaltern or bottom-up history� � history that reflects the perspectives of ordinary people. She is now studying the "intellectual development of Mahatma Gandhi while in South Africa� and draws on contemporary South Asian history because of its striking parallels with present-day South Africa. Jagarnath is a member of Cliohres, an association of historians from European Union countries. because of her interest in film, has contributed a chapter to an academic book on Indian films she has also adjudicated at the Durban International Festival in 2009. � Thabo Mohlala

Blog: indenturedindian. wordpress.com/author/vashna