Professor Priya Satia specializes in modern British and British empire history, especially in the Middle East and South Asia. She uses the methods of cultural history to study the evolution of the material infrastructure of the modern world in the age of empire: state institutions, military technologies, economic development. Her work examines the ways in which the imperial past has shaped the present and how the ethical dilemmas it posed were understood and managed. She has explored these questions in studies of British policing of the Middle East in the era of World War One, the invention of radio during the Boer War, the British Indian development of Iraq, state secrecy in mass-democratic Britain, the gun-making exploits of a Quaker family during the industrial revolution, and other projects. Her work on aerial policing has also informed her analysis of American drone use in the Middle East. She also works on the Partition of British India in 1947.