Ph.D. Jawaharlal Nehru University
M.Phil. Jawaharlal Nehru University
M.A. Jawaharlal Nehru University
B.A. in History (Honours) St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi
I am a historian of premodern South and Southeast Asia with expertise in premodern India and the eastern Indian Ocean world. My research interests include social and economic history, history of non-capitalist societies, caste, gender, and epigraphy.
My current book, Rule Through Blood: Property and Power in Early Medieval India, analyzes the intersections of caste and gender with property and power in India in the period 300 CE–800 CE. Through a focus on the Deccan region of southern India, I examine how rulers mapped lineage onto territory and analyse the proliferation of agrarian landholding tenures held by Brahmins and temples. I argue that mechanisms of domination and resistance that emerged in early medieval India proliferated and persisted across premodern South Asia.
I am also working on a project that explores interactions across the premodern eastern Indian Ocean through economic and cultural practices until 1500 CE. I trace how practices circulated across societies in Indonesia and India and acquired new forms within particular historical contexts.
My publications include “Decentring the King: Kinship and Ideations of Rule in the Ikṣvāku Kingdom” in Social Worlds of Premodern Transactions: Perspectives from Indian Epigraphy and History (Primus Books, 2021) that I co-edited and the co-authored “Kama at the Kadamba Court: The Gudnapur Pillar Inscription of Ravivarman as a Text-Monument” Indo-Iranian Journal 64,1 (2021).
My teaching draws upon my research interests to provide students with a variety of perspectives on South and Southeast Asia, social and economic history, and global premodern societies. I encourage students to embrace a rigorous study of sources, to develop skills in critical thinking, and to express themselves through analytical speaking and writing. I teach courses on premodern and modern South Asian history, Asian epics as critique of Eurocentric frameworks of history, and on the global medieval and Indian Ocean worlds. These courses introduce students to the complexity and depth of South Asian history as part of critical world history over more than two millennia.
Awards and Honors
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Centre for South Asian Civilizations and Department of Historical Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga, 2018–2020.
Gonda Fellowship, International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, January–June 2020.
Specialist Accolade for Dissertations in the Social Sciences, International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) Book Prize 2019.
École Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) Field Scholarship, December 2015-February 2016.
Junior Research Fellowship, Indian Council of Historical Research, 2013-2015.