Colin Phelan

Colin Phelan

Research Interest

Colin has spent the last several years of his life living in both Boston and Delhi. From 2016 through 2020, Colin studied History at Boston College, and while at BC he honed his passions for research, writing, and education. During his junior and senior years at BC, Colin wrote an honors thesis about the creation of India’s first national park. To write this thesis, Colin conducted archival research in both Delhi and London. After graduating from Boston College, Colin then taught high school World History and U.S. History for two years and innovated his curriculums thematically. While teaching at this school, Colin published his inaugural book, The Local School, which documents his experiences and historical research in India, as afforded through multiple grant opportunities. Thereafter, Colin relocated to Delhi, where he worked as a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar for one year, all the while improving his Hindi proficiency.

While at Columbia and LSE, Colin will advance his academic interests by conducting crucial historical work related to both the environment and education. By examining the establishment of India’s first national park within a global context, his previous academic project documented the changing human relationship to nature spaces in the 20th century, and how this change manifested within India. While Colin’s passion for both global and South Asian environmental history remains, over the past few years Colin’s passion for education has grown equally as strong. In turn, Colin hopes to incorporate both environmental and educational dynamics into his Columbia-LSE research project. Thus, in the heavily-emphasized, globally-oriented dissertation component of this program, Colin strives to research the development of global organizations tasked with heritage and land stewardship following the Second World War. In doing so, Colin seeks to better understand competing visions for conservation and heritage preservation, politics inherent to global organizations’ stewardship, and how such spaces have been framed and taught. At Columbia and LSE Colin looks forward to evolving alongside peers, faculty, mentors, and tremendous academic resources as he explores his questions related to global environmental history, heritage and environmental conservation, and education.

After this dual-degree program, Colin strives to work as a leader in education, and as a communicator in and between India, the United States, and the world.

In Colin’s free time, he enjoys outdoor sports, walking, spending time with family and friends, board games, and cooking.