Gunja SenGupta is a professor of History at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of two books, From Slavery to Poverty: The Racial Origins of Welfare in New York, 1840-1918 (2009), and For God and Mammon: Evangelicals and Entrepreneurs, Masters and Slaves in Territorial Kansas (1996), as well as numerous articles in journals like the American Historical Review, the Journal of African American (formerly Negro) History, and Civil War History. Her previous work on poverty examined the material and symbolic ways in which different groups of New Yorkers – from reformers and politicians, to freed slaves and immigrants – argued over poverty, poor relief, and citizenship in nineteenth-century New York. Her current project historicizes, compares, and connects transoceanic debates over poverty and dependence in the Ages of Slavery, Abolition and Empire. During her tenure as Mellon fellow, SenGupta will work on a book tracing the routes and relationships among the politics and culture of slavery, poverty, and public relief across the United States and British India in the nineteenth-century. She is also completing a project (co-authored with Awam Amkpa) on history in films of the Black Atlantic.


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