The South Asian Studies Council is excited to announce that Ramachandra Guha will deliver a series of four public lectures at Yale next month. Guha, the preeminent historian of modern India, will be at Yale from October 2nd to October 15th. His acclaimed books include: The Unquiet Woods, an environmental history; A Corner of a Foreign Field, a history of cricket in India; Gandhi Before India and Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, a two-volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi; and India After Gandhi. Guha’s works have been translated into over 20 languages, and he is a prolific essayist and columnist read weekly by millions. India After Gandhi was named a book of the year by The Economist, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Guha’s Gandhi biographies are being adapted into a streaming series.
On October 6th, Guha will deliver the prestigious George Herbert Walker, Jr. Lecture at Yale MacMillan entitled “Personality Cults and Democratic Decline,” which will center on the ramifications of national personality cults in Indian politics. On October 7th, Guha will give the Annual Gandhi Lecture on “Beyond Racial Binaries: Western Fighters for India’s Freedom.” The topic of the lecture anticipates his forthcoming book, Rebels Against the Raj: Western Fighters for India’s Freedom, which has already been praised by reviewers for its insight into little-known aspects of the Indian independence struggle and its lessons for modern India.
Guha will also engage broadly with South Asian Studies faculty during his visit. On October 11th, “The Journey of an Accidental Sports Historian” will reflect on Guha’s A Corner of a Foreign Field and speak to the future of sports history in South Asia. Finally, the panel “Scholars in the Public Sphere” on October 13th will feature Guha in conversation with Yale professors Sunil Amrith, Sarah Khan, Rohit De, and Madiha Tahir, and Malathy Singh Visiting Fellow Kiran Kumbhar. Over the course of his stay, Guha will also engage with undergraduate and graduate students through small-group lunches and discussions about his writing and research.
Guha is currently Distinguished University Professor at Krea University. His many awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize, the Howard Milton Prize, the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padma Bhushan, and the Fukuoka Prize. Guha was formerly a Visiting Professor at Yale, and was honored with an honorary doctorate in the humanities by Yale in 2014. Guha is the only person to give the Annual Gandhi Lecture twice: in 2018 he delivered the Annual Gandhi Lecture on Gandhi: The Years that Changed the World. Guha lives in Bengaluru with his family.