Dr Khondker Iftekhar Iqbal


Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


I have been working in the two broader fields of environmental social sciences and intellectual history. My engagement with the first area is through environmental history and contemporary environmental challenges with a focus on South Asia and neighbouring regions. One outcome of my research in the area is The Bengal Delta: Ecology, State and Social Change (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Continuing on my interests in the field I am currently working on the connected environmental history of South Asia and mainland Southeast Asia with focus on the rivers of the regions. An initial encouragement to this project came from my stint in Humboldt University Berlin, thanks to a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. At UBD I am currently working on a book project in the area. My researches in this field has also been supported by Cambridge Commonwealth Trust,

In the broader field of intellectual history, I am interested in the various concepts, institutions and practices relating to the state and civil society with focus on non-modern forms of governance, including Islamic governance. A recent reflection of part of my research in this field is ‘A Genealogy of Society: Mapping the Relationship between Samaj and Civil Society in Bangladesh’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 40, 1 (2017). I am currently also collaborating with two US and Canada-based colleagues on an oral history project on the intellectual history of decolonization in South Asia with a focus Bengali intellectuals. A foreseeable extension of my interest in the broader field of intellectual history would be around aspects of global Muslim mobility since early modern period. My research in this field has previously been supported by institutions including the British Academy, Aga Khan University, King's College London and US National Endowment for the Humanities.

I am happy to supervise graduate students interested in any of the above areas with a focus on Asian regions, broadly speaking.

My recent and forthcoming teaching modules include India and its Neighbours; early Indian Civilizations; Imperial expansion and decolonization in Asia and Africa; Nationalism and resistance in South Asia; The Making of the Asia Pacific and Global Environmental History.


PhD (Cambridge)
MPhil (Cambridge)
MA (University of Dhaka)
BA Honours (University of Dhaka)


Asian Studies;
Environmental History;
Brunei in Global context
Modern South Asia;
Connectivity between South Asia and Southeast Asia:
Intellectual History;
Civil Society


Mapping Muslim Mobility in Asia: A longue durée perspective

Applications Invited

Making of the Asia-Pacific

This project aims to explore the historical developments since 1800 AD that have shaped the Asia-Pacific region. Particular focus would be on the transregional migration, flow of products and imperial and postcolonial policies and environmental resouces and changes that have provided this region a distinct yet globally connected space.

Applications Invited

Global Diaspora in Brunei

As a member of a FASS Research Cluster, I am interested in the development and dynamics of diasporic community in Brunei.

Applications Invited
Masters and PhD

Scopus Publications


Google Scholar Citations


Google Scholar h-index


Google Scholar i10-index

Scopus Publications



Iftekhar Iqbal and Imtiaz Ahmed eds. 2016. University of Dhaka: Making Unmaking Remaking (Dhaka: Prothoma).


Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2017. Cooperative Credit in Colonial Bengal: An Exploration in Development and Decline, 1905-1947. Indian Economic and Social History Review. 54, 2.

Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2017. A Genealogy of Society: Mapping Relationship between Samaj and Civil Society. South Asia. Journal of South Asian Studies, 40, 1.

Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2015. The Space between Nation and Empire: Making and Unmaking of Eastern Bengal and Assam Province 1905-1911. The Journal of Asian Studies, 74 (1).

Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2014. State of Bangladesh Studies: An Exploration in Historical Literature. South Asia Chronicle. Vol. 4.

Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2014. Reclaiming the Crossroads between India and China: A View from the River, Economic and Political Weekly, XIIX (2051) (December 20).



Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2010. The Bengal Delta. Ecology, State and Social Change, 1840-1943 (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010; Indian reprint published in August 2011). pp. xx+264. ISBN 978-0-23183-2.

Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2015. The Space between Nation and Empire: Making and Unmaking of Eastern Bengal and Assam Province 1905-1911. The Journal of Asian Studies, 74 (1). Cambridge University Press.

Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2009. Return of the Bhadralok: Ecology and Agrarian Relations in Eastern Bengal, c. 1905-1947. Modern Asian Studies, 43 (6). Cambridge University Press

Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2009. Fighting with a Weed: Water Hyacinth and the State in Colonial Bengal, c.1910-1947. Environment and History, 15 (1), 35-59. Ingenta. [Reprinted in Sarah Johnson ed., Bio-invaders (Isles of Harris: White Horse Press, 2010)]

Iqbal, Iftekhar. 2011. The Boat Denial Policy and the Great Bengal Famine, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, 56 (1-2) (Diamond Jubilee Volume), 271-282.


National Endowment for the Humanities, USA. Collaborative grant.
British Academy, UK.
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany.
Aga Khan Foundation, UK.


Peer reviewed article
Consultancy reports
Conference proceedings
Media presence


Provides consultancy.