4 Dr Tom Wilkinson
Dr Tom Wilkinson

Dr Tom Wilkinson

Visiting Fellow

Department of International History

Room No
Office Hours
Thursday, 11am to 12pm
Connect with me

English, Hindi
Key Expertise
Colonial and Post-Colonial South Asia

About me

Tom Wilkinson passed his PhD thesis viva in July 2022, which was supervised by Dr Taylor Sherman. Following his PhD, he joined the University of Melbourne as a Research Fellow in South Asia.  He is currently a post-doctoral Visiting Fellow in the Department of International History.

Dr Wilkinson holds a MsC in Empires, Colonialism and Globalization from the LSE (with Distinction) and a BSc in Political and Social Science from the University of York (First-Class Honours).   

Aside from his research, Tom was co-representative for the Graduate Teaching Assistants in the Department of International History. He was the co-convener for the HY509 PhD and early career research seminar and was the co-editor of the department's blog, The LSE International History blog.  

He was Course Director for two of LSE’s flagship Widening Participation programmes, LSE CHOICE and the LSE Promoting Potential. Tom is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and a Trustee at Paper Boat Charity. Before his doctoral research, he worked as a Parliamentary Assistant in Westminster and as a teaching assistant in New Delhi for the British Council.   

Dr Wilkinson was awarded a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCert) Full Level and is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. Tom has been a visiting research scholar at Columbia University in New York and Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.


Youth Movements and Mobilisations in Post-colonial India, circa 1930-1970  

Tom’s PhD thesis offers a new national and global history of Indian youth movements and mobilisations during the late colonial and early post-colonial period. His work forms a bridge between the history of colonial and post-colonial India and the global history of youth and childhood. Drawing on English and Hindi source materials, his PhD traces the origins, growth, and consequences of state-sponsored youth movements, including the National Cadet Corps, the Labour and Social Service Camps, the Bharat Sevak Samaj, the Bharat Scouts and Guides, the Youth Hostel Association of India, the Interuniversity Youth Festival, and the University Film Club. He also explores the political protests of two communist youth movements, and looks at the ways the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s unfolded in India from the perspective of the All-India Student Federation and the All-India Youth Federation. His research analyses how colonial conceptions of the Indian youth were adapted and repudiated during the early post-colonial period by referring to the final phase of the colonial era, and how the shifting notion of “youth” had a profound effect on the building of the nation-state at large.  


Expertise Details

Colonial and Post-Colonial South Asia


Previously, Tom has taught the following course in the department:

HY113 - From Empire to Independence: The Extra-European World in the Twentieth Century

HY120 - Historical Approaches to the Modern World

HY329 - Independent India: Myths of Freedom and Development


Peer-Reviewed Articles

• “Student Politics in British India and Beyond: The Rise and Fragmentation of the All India Student Federation (AISF), 1936-1949”, SAMAJ, 22, 2019.


• "Boris Johnson Wants a Trade Deal with India. But Will the UK Accept Looser Immigration Rules?", The Wire, 24 January 2022.

• "Are we heading for a golden era in British-Indian relations?", The Spectator, 26 January 2020.

• "Digital politics is here to stay", Left Foot Forward, April 2020.

• "The Trump and Modi bromance that is bad news for Boris Johnson", The New European, 27 February 2020.


• "Tommy Robinson Claims to Take Political Refuge in Marbella. But His Brand of Right-Wing Extremism Could Still Thrive in the Covid-19 Economic Crisis", August 10th 2020, published on Young Fabians blog.

• “The government’s mishandling of the lockdown easing is creating new resentments and divisions: The Brexit wounds are resurfacing", June 1st 2020, published on Progress Online.

• “JLF 2019 Interview: Sven Beckert ‘Empire of Cotton’”, October 18th, 2019, published on South Asia @ LSE

• “Coronation Park and the Forgotten Statues of the British Raj”, June 20th, 2019, published on LSE International History Blog

• “India 2019: Catching the Clickbait Generation”, May 8th, 2019, published on South Asia @ LSE

• “South Asia: Walls and Bridges”, February 1st, 2019, published on South Asia @ LSE


• June 2020: “The Youth Hostel Association of Indian, the Politics of Leisure, and the Shaping of Indian Youth During the Long 1950s", Conference of Society for the History of Children and Youth, Galway, Ireland

• January 2020: “The Labour Camp and the Shaping of the Indian Youth After Independence, circa 1954-1965", Conference on Childhood, Youth and Identity in South Asia, Shiv Nadar University and Ambedkar University Delhi, New Delhi

• May 2019: “Indian Youth and the Defense of the Nation: Youth (De) Mobilisations, Youth Physicality, and the Birth of the National Cadet Core, 1940-1962”, India and Pakistan: The Formative Phase, 1947-1960, British Academy and Royal Holloway, London

• November 2018: “Student Politics in British India and Beyond: The Rise and Fragmentation of the All India Student Federation (AISF), 1936-1949”, South Asia from the Lens of Student Politics, Sciences Po, Paris

• June 2018: “Indian Prison Policy in the 1950s: Everyday Violence, The United Nations and Human Rights”, Retrieving the 1950s as a transitional moment in India’s foreign and domestic policy, Asia Association Studies Conference, New Delhi

• May, 2018: “Growing up a Dalit Youth in India, 1920- 1965”, Narration and ImaginationUCL South Asia ECR Conference, University College London, London

Honours and awards

• 2019 Spring term: Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University in New York

• 2018 Winter term: Visiting Research Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 

• 2019: Royal Historical Society Postgraduate Research Support Grant 

• 2018: Partnership PhD Mobility Scheme Bursary, LSE. Read his Q&A for LSE Academic Partnerships about his time at Columbia University, New York (Spring, 2019).

• 2018: Fellow at the Royal Asiatic Society

• 2017: LSE PhD studentship

• 2015-16: 120th Anniversary LSE Masters Scholarship


• IR211 America as a Global Power: FDR to Trump, Teaching assistant, Teaching Score 4.5/5