Professional and Biographical Information
Ph.D. Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2018
M.Phil. Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2011
M.A. Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2008
B.A. in History (Honours) St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, 2006
I am a historian of premodern South and Southeast Asia with a focus on early India and the eastern Indian Ocean world. My current book, Rule Through Blood: Lineage, Territory, and Power in early India, analyzes the intersections between kinship, territory, and political power in South Asia until 1000 CE. Through a focus on the Deccan region of southern India, I examine the history of two interlinked processes: the mapping of lineage onto territory by rulers and the proliferation of agrarian landholding tenures controlled by Brahmins and temples. I argue that mechanisms of hierarchy, domination, and rule that emerged in southern India between 200–800 CE proliferated and persisted across premodern South Asia.
I am also working on a project that explores interactions across the eastern Indian Ocean through documentary, religious, economic, and literary connections until 1500 CE. I trace how ideas and practices were transformed through circulation and acquired new forms within particular historical contexts including in Indonesia and India.
I am interested in social history, gender, epigraphy, and religion. My publications include “Decentring the King: Kinship and Ideations of Rule in the Ikṣvāku Kingdom” in the volume 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 social, political, gender, and religious history. I encourage students to embrace a rigorous and careful study of sources, to develop skills in critical thinking, and to express themselves through analytical writing. I offer a range of courses including surveys of premodern and modern South Asian history. I also offer courses that explore the relationship between literature, myth, and history in South Asia, histories of the body, gender, and sexuality as well as upper-level seminars on the Indian Ocean world. These courses introduce students to the breadth and depth of South Asian history over more than two millennia. My courses draw upon material, visual, and textual evidence to introduce students to critical approaches to the past.
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.