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Dr. Bernardo A. Michael

Professor of History (on Research Leave 2021-2022 academic year)



717-766-2511 x 7117

Interest and areas of expertise
  • Ph.D., Modern South Asian History, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2001
  • M.A., Medieval South Asian History, University of Delhi, 1986
  • B.A., History (Hons), St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, 1984
Classes I teach
  • History of South Asia (before 1500)
  • History of India & Pakistan (post 1500)
  • Gandhi’s India: Caste in Modern India
  • Gandhi’s India: Colonialism, Nationalism and Subalterns in Modern India
  • Readings in Ethnographic History: Theoretical and South Asian Perspectives
  • Premodern Civilizations of Asia (before 1500)
  • Modern Civilizations of Asia (post 1500)
  • Modern Civilizations of Asia, post 1500 (Non-Western)
  • World Civilizations (pre 1500)
  • World Civilizations (post 1500)
  • Historical Methods
  • Cross Cultural: Ethnographic Performances in Nepal
  • Ethnography, Development & Globalization

Bernardo A. Michael is a historian of Modern South Asia. His research has focused on the relationship between Nepali state formation, British colonialism, and territorial reordering on the subcontinent. He teaches courses in Asian and World history, and Historical Methods. He has lived and worked in South Asia, including spending nearly eight years in community development work in Nepal. He regularly takes students to Nepal on a cross cultural in May-June. Until recently he was the Director of the Center for Public Humanities at Messiah College and Special Assistant to the President & Provost, for Diversity Affairs (2010-2017). He is currently the co-chair of the department of history. He lives in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. with his wife Shanti and their three children, Sharon, David, and Mary.

Selected Works

Selected Publications

  • Statemaking and Territory: Lessons from the Anglo-Gorkha War, 1814-16 (London: Anthem Press, December 2012).
  • 2016. “The Spatial Anxieties of Everyday Colonial Rule and the History of Cartography: Connecting the Dots.” In Holt Meyer, Susanne Rau, & Katharina Waldner, eds., SpaceTime of the Imperial (Berlin: De Gruyter), pp. 338-366.
  • 2014. “Writing a World History of the Anglo-Gorkha Borderlands in the Early Nineteenth Century,” Journal of World History, Vol. 25, no. 4, (2014), pp. 535-558.
  • 2011. “Nepali History as World History.” Occasional Papers Social Science Baha (Kathmandu: Social Science Baha).
  • 2011. “The Anglo-Gorkha War and the Territorial Structure of the Anglo-Gorkha Frontier, 1750-1814.” In Kaushik Roy, ed., Warfare and Politics in South Asia from Ancient to Modern Times (Delhi: Manohar), pp. 215-248. 
  • 2011. "The Tarai: A Part of Moghlan or Gorkha? Perspectives from the Time of the Anglo-Gorkha War (1814-1816)." In Arjun Guneratne, ed., The Tarai: History, Society, Environment (Kathmandu: Himal Books).

Selected Presentations

  • “Of Human Bondage: Forms of Enslavement in Global History" Roundtable presentation, Department of History, Messiah College Humanities Symposium, 21 February 2017.
  • “Separating the Yam from the Boulder: Statemaking and Space and the Anglo-Gorkha War of 1814-16,” Global and Area Studies, Excellence Speaker Series Lecture, University of Wyoming-Laramie, 29 March 2016.
  • “States and Territories: The Anglo-Gorkha War as a ‘diagnostic event,’” British-Nepal Academic Council Bicentenary Workshop on Britain-Nepal Relations, London, 23 March 2016.
  • “In the footsteps of Charles Freer Andrews (1871-1940): Reflections on a Sabbatical Year in South Asia,” Department of History Faculty Presentation, Messiah College, 9 December 2015.
  • “Roundtable: Rethinking structure, agency, and the history of Nepal,” Annual South Asia Conference, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 24 October 2015. 
  • “Can the history of colonial cartography include more than the study of maps and mapmaking?” Conference on SpaceTime of the Imperial, University of Erfurt & Gotha, 10 October 2014.
  • “Writing a World History of the Anglo-Gorkha Borderlands in the Early Nineteenth Century,” Association of Asian Studies Conference. Invited to be present at a session “The State in New Histories of the Himalaya,” 27-30 March 2014.
  • “Statemaking and Space: Lessons from the Anglo-Gorkha War (1814-1816),” Faculty Scholarship Presentation, Messiah College School of Humanities, 22 April 2013.
  • “Spatiality and the History of Cartography: Some Evidence from Colonial South Asia,” Mapping History: New Directions in Interdisciplinary Research, Michael P. Malone Memorial Conference, Montana State University, 3-7 October 2012.
  • “The Saffronization of Indian History: The NCERT Text Book Controversy (1998-2004) and the California Text Book Controversy (2005),” Departmental Lecture Series II Not Your Grandfather’s Book: The Transforming History Textbook, Messiah College Spring Humanities Symposium, 21 February 2012.
  • Friendship in Colonial South Asia: Travelers, Writing, and the “Intimacies” of Empire,” Annual Spring Humanities Symposium, Messiah College, 22 February 2011.
  • "Henry Martyn & the Great Arch of the Christian-Muslim oikumene in the East." Annual Spring Humanities Symposium, Messiah College, 22 February 2011.