Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

First Advisor

Mithi Mukherjee

Second Advisor

Fred Anderson

Third Advisor

Carole McGranahan


This paper explores the Gandhian Ashram as a reaction to the forces of modernity in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Its deviation from the existing historiography is primarily in its exploration of the Ashram as one of many incidents of communal experiments at the time, which have an interesting geographic connection in London. I note Gandhi’s readings of John Ruskin and Leo Tolstoy, his interactions with dietetic and communal experiments in London, and some of the local precedents for the Ashram in arguing that these communal living experiments can be seen as a reaction to the forces of modern nation-building, especially as an anticolonial reaction.