Dr Priya Atwal is a Visiting Research Fellow at TORCH, alongside working full-time at King's College London as a Teaching Fellow in Modern South Asian History.
Priya completed a KE Fellowship in History in 2017-18, on a project entitled 'The Indian Army in the First World War: an Oxfordshire perspective'. The aim of the project was to work collaboratively with the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum in order to investigate and highlight the overlapping, but largely overlooked experiences of men from India and Oxfordshire in fighting for the British Indian Army in Mesopotamia during the First World War. Key outputs of the project were several public history events and new educational resources for primary schools, which were designed to promote improved understanding of the local and global connections wrought between Oxfordshire and India by WW1.
The project received extensive media coverage from the local and national press and BBC Asian Network. You can watch a video of a Q&A with Priya discussing the issue of WW1 and British Asian heritage here, recorded live from the South Asian Heritage Festival (organised as part of her KE project).
Priya is now working on a new book on 'The Rise and Fall of the Sikh Empire', to be published by Hurst in 2019-20. This book builds on the findings of her DPhil project (Lady Margaret Hall, 2013-17) on Anglo-Indian royal relations, which looked at the close ties between the royal families of Queen Victoria and the Punjabi Maharajah, Ranjit Singh, in order to examine the changing nature of monarchy, royal diplomacy and imperial politics over the course of the nineteenth century.
Priya has long been interested in exploring the history of the British Raj and the British Asian community, and is committed to making historical research more accessible and engaging for the public. She has experience working on TV documentaries and school/museum heritage projects, as well as running academic outreach projects for prospective undergraduate applicants.