South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Cynthia Talbot

Associate ProfessorPhD, 1988, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Cynthia Talbot


  • Phone: 475-7229
  • Office: GAR 3.406
  • Office Hours: Spring 2016: TH 1-3 p.m. & by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: B7000


Medieval and early modern history of South Asia


Research interests

Social and cultural history of medieval and early modern India (ca. 1000-1750); historiography and historical memories, Hindu-Muslim relations.

Courses taught

Ancient India, Medieval India, Precolonial India 1200-1750, Mughal India in History and Memory, Epics and Heroes of India, Indian Ocean Travel and Trade, and other courses on South Asia to 1750; also world history to 1500 (The Premodern World).


National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2008-2009 & 1992-1993
Guggenheim Fellowship, 2007-2008 
Institute for Advanced Study Membership, 2007-2008 
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2000-2001 
American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Short-Term Grant, 1999 

Recent Publications: 

Professor Talbot is the author of Precolonial India in Practice: Society, Region, and Identity in Medieval Andhra (Oxford University Press, 2001); co-author, with Catherine B. Asher, of India Before Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2006); and editor of Knowing India: Colonial and Modern Constructions of the Past (Yoda Press, 2011). Her latest book is The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past, 1200-2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2016).


BOOK.  The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past, 1200-2000.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

EDITED BOOK. Knowing India: Colonial and Modern Constructions of the Past.  Delhi: Yoda Press, 2011.  (edited volume)

BOOK. India Before Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006. (co-authored with Catherine Asher)

BOOK.  Precolonial India in Practice: Society, Region, and Identity in Medieval Andhra. NY: Oxford University Press, 2001. 

“Justifying Defeat: A Rajput Perspective on the Age of Akbar.”  Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 45.2-3 (Oct. 2012): 329-68.

"Contesting Knowledges in Colonial India: The Question of Prithviraj Raso's Historicity," in Knowing India: Colonial and Modern Constructions of the Past, ed. Cynthia Talbot (Delhi: Yoda Press, 2011), pp. 171-212.

“The Society of Kakatiya Andhra,” in Rethinking Early Medieval India: A Reader, ed. Upinder Singh (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 166-88. (reprint of a chapter from Precolonial India in Practice)

"Becoming Turk the Rajput Way: Conversion and Identity in an Indian Warrior Narrative," Modern Asian Studies, 43. 1 (Jan. 2009): 211-243.  Reprinted in Expanding Frontiers in South Asian and World History, ed. Richard Eaton, Munis Faruqui, David Gilmartin, Sunil Kumar (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2013): 200-31. 

"Recovering the Heroic History of Rajasthan: James Tod and the Prithviraj Raso," in James Tod's Rajasthan: The Historian and His Collections, edi. Giles Tillotson (Mumbai: Marg Publications, 2007), pp. 98-109. 

"The Mewar Court's Construction of History,"  in The Kingdom of the Sun: Indian Court and Village Art from the Princely State of Mewar, ed. Joanna Williams (San Francisco: Asian Art Museum, 2007), pp. 12-33.

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