Professor — Ph.D., History, 1981, University of Cambridge
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My education began in Italy but I completed high school in New Delhi, India. I received a BA from St. Stephen's College and an MA in History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, both in Delhi. An Inlaks Scholarship enabled me to attend the University of Cambridge and I was awarded a Ph.d. in History in 1981, then returning to teach in St. Stephen's College from 1981 to 1996 (with periods of research leave at the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, the Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University and the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Delhi.)
From 1996 to 1999 I was Professor in the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta and moved to the USA in 2000 as S.P. Das Distinguished Professor at Brown University. In 2004 I joined the Department of History in Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and came thence to the University of Texas at Austin in 2013.
I began my research as an economic historian with interests in demography and agriculture. These widened into the study of environmental and ethnic histories. My first book was The Agrarian Economy of the Bombay Deccan 181-1941 (1985) followed by Environment and Ethnicity in India, c. 1200-1991 (1999) and Health and Population in South Asia from earliest times to the present (2001).
My most recent book is Beyond Caste: Identity and Power in South Asia, Past and Present