Faculty Profile


Prof. Denys P Leighton


  • B.A., University of Virginia (double major: history; German language and literature)
  • M.A., Washington University (European history)
  • M.A. certificates, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany
  • Ph.D., Washington University
  • Other educational affiliations: Associate of Middle Common Room (1991), Mansfield College, University of Oxford

Past Experience

  • History Department, University of Delhi, 2003 – 2007, 2008 – 2009.
  • History Department, Tulane University, 2007 – 2008.
  • Before 2003: taught at State University of New York at Brockport (2001- 2002); Alfred University (2002); Onondaga Community College (2001- 2002); Hobart and William Smith Colleges (1993 – 1997); Washington University (1990 – 1993).


  • Have been an associate editor of the Mid-Atlantic Almanack. Journal of the Mid-Atlantic
  • Popular/American Culture Association and a member of the editorial collective of German Studies in India. Beiträge aus der Germanistik in Indien (München: Iudicium Verlag).
  • Held fellowships from Washington University, the Max Kade Foundation and the Mellon Foundation (through the Harry Ransom Research Center, University of Texas).
  • Since 2003 delivered teaching lectures at several colleges of the University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Jadavpur University. Participated since 1992 in academic seminars/workshops of DU, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Aligarh Muslim University, University of Oxford, Association of Indian Labour Historians, North American Conference of British Studies, Liberty Fund, among others.
  • Have taught and designed/co-designed about 25 different university courses in areas of history and social science.
  • The Greenian Moment (2004 book) was featured on the readings lists of two courses of the Cambridge Historical Tripos (BA History Hons., University of Cambridge, UK) between 2006 and 2014.
  • Research and teaching interests fall broadly in the following areas: history of modern political thought (especially liberal and socialist political traditions), utopian thought and environmentalism, philosophy of history, colonialism, history of the social sciences, India since c. 1700, Britain since c. 1789, philosophy of British Idealism. Other interests: internationalization of higher education.
  • Current research projects include ‘Colonial cosmopolitanism: anatomy of a failed idea, c. 1770 – 1960’, ‘Literary classics and plebeian political culture in Britain, c. 1780 – 1914’, ‘Locating the political in Idealist philosophy, c. 1880 – 2000’



  • Lives of Victorian Political Figures. Part IV: J. S. Mill, Walter Bagehot, William Morris and T. H. Green by their Contemporaries, Vol. 2: Green and Morris. Series General Editors: N. Lopatin-Lummis and M. Partridge. (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2009). ISBN 9781851969197.
  • The Greenian Moment: T. H. Green, Religion and Political Argument in Victorian Britain (Exeter, UK and Charlottesville, USA: Imprint Academic, 2004). Series Editor: Peter Nicholson. ISBN 0907845541.

Selected research publications, articles in reference works, textbook chapters:

  • “Religion and the Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire” and “Religion and Culture in Medieval Europe”: chapters in Social Formations and Cultural Patterns in the Medieval World, B.A. History course textbook, Indira Gandhi National Open University (forthcoming, 2019).
  • “Radhakrishnan and the Construction of Philosophical Dialogue across Cultural Traditions,” in William Sweet (ed.), Migrating Texts and Traditions (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2012), pp. 267-83. ISBN 9780776607078.
  • “The World in the Year 1900” and “National Liberation Movements
  • and ‘Development’” [textbook chapters: Hindi and English, for Class XII students], Twentieth-Century World (New Delhi: National Institute of Open Schooling, 2010).
  • (Denys Leighton and Nancy Lopatin-Lummis), “A Public Life: Richard W. Davis, Historian, Mentor, Gentleman,” in Parliamentary History. Festschrift issue for R. W. Davis, vol. 27/ no. 1 (February, 2008), pp. 1-6.
  • “T. H. Green and the Dissidence of Dissent: On Religion and National Character in Nineteenth-Century England,” in Parliamentary History. Festschrift issue for R. W. Davis, vol. 27/ no. 1 (February, 2008), pp. 43-56.
  • “Between Artistry and Political Realism: Changing Patterns in Assessments of William Morris,” in Yearly Review of English Studies [University of Delhi, Dept. of English], 15 (May, 2007), pp. 130-142.
  • “Temperance Movements” and “Welfare State”, articles in Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History, Ed.-in-Chief, Bonnie G. Smith (New York: Oxford UP, 2007).
  • (Denys Leighton and Suresh Babu), “The Shompen of Great Nicobar Island (India): Between ‘Development’ and Disappearance”, Policy Matters. Special Issue: History, Culture and Conservation, vol. 13 (November, 2004), pp. 198-211.
  • "Municipal Progress, Democracy and Radical Identity in Birmingham, 1838-1886," Midland History, vol. 25 (2000), pp. 115-42.
  • “Brockmeyer, H.,” “Harris, W. T.,” “Snider, D. J.,” Woerner, J. G.”: in Dictionary of Missouri Biography , ed. Lawrence O. Christensen (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1999; reprint, 2014). ISBN 0826212220.
  • Book reviews published in Victorian Studies, History of Political Thought, Journal of the History of Philosophy, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Philosophy in Review/Comptes rendus philosophiques, The Book Review, Political Studies Review, Indian Economic and Social History Review, Indian Historical Review, Transactions of the Charles. S. Peirce Society, New York History, Midland History, Gateway Heritage

Seminar / Conferences

Recent lectures and conference presentations:

  • “Camus and Being an Intellectual in Twentieth-Century France,” conference on The Intellectual Geography of Albert Camus, Alliance Française with O. P. Jindal Global University, 3 May 2019.
  • “Why and How We Can Still Learn from Berlin’s ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’,” A One-Day Seminar on Isaiah Berlin, India International Centre with O. P. Jindal Global University, 1 March 2019.
  • “Re-evaluating ‘Enlightenment’ Through Isaiah Berlin and His Critics,” inaugural lecture of the Indian International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Department of History, University of Delhi, 9 November 2017.