At Gopinath Temple, Bhangarh archaeological site, Alwar District, Rajasthan, India.

At Gopinath Temple, Bhangarh archaeological site, Alwar District, Rajasthan, India.

Welcome to! I am a historian of technology from the state of Colorado, USA, and I study post-independence industrialization in India. On this blog, I write about some of the things I’ve learned in my research, readings, and explorations—in India, the United States, and other parts of the world. The posts that emerge are a mixture of history, journalism, and travelogue. If you want to keep up-to-date with my posts (which I put up about once a month), please follow me with RSS or on Twitter, @WilliamSikander.

In August 2016, I earned my PhD from the History of Technology program at Auburn University. My dissertation was about industrialization and technological change in India during the Third Five-Year Plan (1961-1966). My PhD research took me to the national archives of both India and the United States, as well as several other libraries and archives in India. Before getting my doctorate, I also spent five years studying Hindi, both at the American Institute of Indian Studies–Jaipur, and on my own.

Before my PhD, I received my bachelor’s from Walla Walla University in 2009. This degree was not in history or even the humanities; it was in mechanical engineering. Although I find history much more to my liking than engineering, I still have a technical inclination that shows through in many of my posts.

The header image on this blog is a watchtower in the city walls of Amber, the old capital of the Kachhawaha Rajputs in western India. Amber reached the peak of its political importance in the seventeenth century, when it was a vassal state of the Mughal Empire. In 1727, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II founded a new capital for his kingdom, Jaipur, in the flatlands six miles south of Amber. Today, Jaipur is the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan.

In addition to this blog, I also have a Flickr photostream.