Tithi Bhattacharya is a professor of South Asian History at Purdue University. She writes extensively on Marxist theory and the politics of Islamophobia. Pro-Palestinian activists…
Who is Tithi Bhattacharya?
Tithi Bhattacharya is a professor of South Asian History at Purdue University. She is also the wife of American Studies professor Bill Mullen. She writes extensively on Marxist theory, gender, class, and the politics of Islamophobia as well as Bengali colonialism. Both Tithi and Bill are pro-Palestinian activists at Purdue University and nationally.
Tithi’s academic work was published in some of the leading left wing socialist political journals including the ‘International Socialist Review’, ‘Jacobin’, ‘Salon.com’ and ‘The New Left Review.’ In addition to her literary contributions as an author she is on the editorial board of two journals, ‘International Socialist Review’ and ‘Studies on Asia’. Her Pro-Palestinian literature was published in leading BDS blogs and websites including Electronic Intifada and Mondo Weiss.
Tithi Bhattacharya has also posted on SHOAH.org.uk, where she calls Israel a ‘Zio-Nazi’ regime and tries to compare the Palestinian suffering to the Holocaust. In addition, she writes a column for ‘The Huffington Post,’ usually weekly or every two weeks.
She is an open critic of Mitch Daniels, currently president of Purdue University and formerly governor of Indiana. She has openly voiced her discontent by teaching historian Howard Zinn, and decrying the institutional connections between academia and state government.
Bhattacharya completed her B.A. in Kolkata, and her doctorate in 2000 at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Her doctoral dissertation on the English-educated middle class of nineteenth century Calcutta became the basis of her first book, The Sentinels of Culture: Class, Education, and the Colonial Intellectual in Bengal, published in 2005. Between 2001-2002 Bhattacharya resided in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada as a Post-Doctorate Fellow at CISAR – The Center for India and South Asia Research. She moved to the United States in 2002 after accepting a job offer as assistant professor at Purdue University’s history department.
Bhattacharya teaches the following courses at Purdue University: HIST 243: South Asian History and Civilization, which was held until Fall 2012 and possibly longer. In 2011 Bhattacharya taught HIST 395: Cultural Studies in Children’s Literature. She teaches HIST 641: Social Movements of the Global South, which deals with social issues in the Middle East. In 2011 she taught HIST 105: Survey of Global History, a general non-elective basic course, and as such had two TAs that worked together with Bhattacharya.
In 2013 she gave a seminar course named Rethinking Social Movements: Reading Anti-Systemic Protest. Week 10 of the course discusses social movements in the Middle East, and specifically anti-Israel material cited in the course syllabus as “The Case for Sanctions Against Israel (On Blackboard).”
On the Uloop Purdue, a Rate My Professor-style website for Purdue University, Bhattacharya received generally average reviews, one of them stating that she was “Offensive to anyone conservative.”
Tithi Bhattacharya was born in 1971/2. in the Indian province of West Bengal. Her nuclear family resides in Kolkata, West Bengal, to this day.
She is the second wife of Bill Mullen, an American Studies professor at Purdue University (he was previously married to Elizabeth Petrasovic). The two probably met both being faculty members at Purdue University’s Center for Liberal Arts. As Mullen was married at the time, existing rumors indicate that the relationship between Bhattacharya and Mullen started as an extramarital affair. Mullen and Bhattacharya are both pro-Palestinian activists and leading figures in the BDS movement at Purdue University.
Mullen is the more active politically of the two, as he has visited Israel and the Palestinian territories, and is the senior staff advisor for SJP Purdue, the leading BDS student group at Purdue.