Kristin Plys

Kristin Plys (On Leave)

Associate Professor

Kristin Plys (Ph.D. 2016, Sociology, Yale University) is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Professor Plys’ research sits at the intersection of political economy, postcolonial theory, labour and labour movements, historical sociology, and global area studies. The greater part of her intellectual work analyzes the historical trajectory of global capitalism as seen from working class and anti-colonial movements in the Global South. This research program has led her to take a particular interest in Marxist political economy, social protest against authoritarianism in the 1970s Global South, avant-garde visual art as left politics in the Global South, labour history and histories of café culture, and historical method. 

Her first book, Brewing Resistance: Indian Coffee House and the Emergency in Postcolonial India (Cambridge University Press 2020) uncovered histories of the resistance movement that was launched from New Delhi’s vibrant café culture during India’s brief period of dictatorship (1975-77). Her second book (with Charles Lemert), Capitalism and its Uncertain Future (Routledge 2021) examines how social theory imagines capitalism. Her current research in-progress investigates how visual artists, writers, poets, and leftists fomented opposition against Pakistan’s 1977 military coup through a ‘cultural front’ that innovated new forms of anti-authoritarian writing, painting, and poetry rooted in Lahore’s vibrant café culture.

She has published articles in a range of journals, including Theory and SocietyTheory, Culture and Society,  Review (Fernand Braudel Center), Critical Sociology, European Journal of Sociology, and Economic and Political Weekly. In addition to sociology, she is affiliated with the Centre for South Asian Civilizations (UTM) and Culinaria (UTSC).  

Ph.D. (Yale)
B.A. (Johns Hopkins) 



Plys, Kristin and Charles Lemert. 2021. Capitalism and Its Uncertain Future. New York: Routledge. 

Plys, Kristin. 2020. Brewing Resistance: Indian Coffee House and the Emergency in Postcolonial India. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


Plys, Kristin. 2021. “Theorizing Capitalist Imperialism for Anti-Imperialist Praxis: Towards a Rodneyan World Systems Analysis.” Journal of World-Systems Research 27(1):288-313.

Plys, Kristin. 2020. “The Poetry of Resistance: Poetry as Solidarity in Postcolonial Anti-authoritarian Movements in Islamicate South Asia.” Theory, Culture & Society 36(7-8):295-313.

Plys, Kristin. 2020. “Time and World-History.” Critical Sociology 46(4-5):677-691.          

Plys, Kristin. 2019. “Subaltern Historiography, the Working Class, and Social Theory for the Global South.” Economic & Political Weekly 54(43):49-58. 

Plys, Kristin. 2019. “Violence as a Tactic of Social Protest in Postcolonial India: From the Railway Workers’ Strike to the Baroda Dynamite Conspiracy, 1974-6.” European Journal of Sociology 60(2):171-211.

Plys, Kristin. 2017. “Political Deliberation and Democratic Reversal in India: Indian Coffee House during The Emergency (1975-77) and the Third World 'Totalitarian Moment’.” Theory and Society 46(2):117-142.

Plys, Kristin. 2016. “Immanuel Wallerstein.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology, edited by Janeen Baxter. New York: Oxford University Press.

Plys, Kristin. 2016. “Worker Self-Management in the Third World, 1952-1979.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 57(1-2):3-29.

Plys, Kristin. 2015. “Book Review: Workers’ Self-Management in the Caribbean: The Writings of Joseph Edwards by Joseph Edwards.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 56(3-4):299-301.

Plys, Kristin. 2015. “World-Systems Analysis and its Relevance for Kerala Today.” Journal of Polity and Society August.

Plys, Kristin. 2014. “Book Review: The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-trade Tea Plantations in India.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 55(4):345-347.

Plys, Kristin. 2014. “Financialization, Crisis, and the Development of Capitalism in the United States.” World Review of Political Economy 5(1):24-44.

Plys, Kristin. 2013. “Eurocentrism and the Origins of Capitalism.” Review (Fernand Braudel Center) 36(1):41-81.

Plys, Kristin. 2012. “World Systemic and Kondratieff Cycles.” Yale Journal of Sociology 9:130-160.


Political Economy; Postcolonial Theory; Marxism; Capitalism; Colonialism/Imperialism; Economic History; Labour/Left History; Histories of the Café Culture; Comparative & Historical Sociology; Oral History; Global & Transnational History; The Global South
Current Courses
SOC434H5, SOC444H5, SOC454H5