Stefan Tetzlaff is a historian of South Asia and its connection with the world.
His research broadly examines the impact of trajectories of capitalism on historical formations while investigating how imperialism, colonialism, and postcolonial formations shaped broader global structures and local manifestations. His specific interests in the history of mobility, technology and business practices were shaped during his formative training at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) and at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies, University of Göttingen. Stefan's first book project "The Motorization of the Mofussil" analyzes the arrival of the automobile in rural and small-town India during the interwar period. It argues that automobiles and asphalted roads brought about certain shifts in modern India’s political and economic sphere, as these became significant for an array of social actors, from business tycoons and local entrepreneurs down to farmers and road laborers.
During his postdoctoral career since 2015, Stefan has held positions at different academic institutions in Asia, Europe, and the US. These include positions at the Centre for South Asian Studies in Paris (CNRS-EHESS), the German Historical Institutes (GHI) in London and Washington, D.C. and the Centre for Modern Oriental Studies (ZMO) in Berlin. During 2019, Stefan is also an Arts and Humanities Visiting Fellow at NYU Abu Dhabi and a Senior Research Fellow in Business History at the Godrej Archives (Mumbai) that attempts to instill the study of Indian business history. During this time, he commenced research on transnational economic and technology exchanges between India and western nations during the Cold War. He is about to widen this interest to include more recent historical trajectories and other countries in the global south.