Multiple areas of specialisation which are as
Socio-Economic History of
This continues to be a major area of academic
and research interest beginning from the publication of my first book:
Textiles and Weavers in Medieval South India from Oxford University Press in
The following courses on economic history
have been designed and taught by me at JNU:
History of Ancient India, Compulsory Course
History of Ancient to Medieval South India as optional course at the M.A.
History of Economy in Pre-Medieval South India as Seminar Course for
students of M.A. final
Issues in the History of Ancient and Early Medieval South India as M.Phil
History of Ancient to Medieval South India as M.Phil lecture course.
broad focus of these courses is problematisation of leading issues in the
economic history of South India to enable in-depth research at the M.Phil
and Ph.D stages. The courses seek to redress gender imbalances in the study
of major themes/issues in South Indian economic history. The course provides
a certain degree of flexibility to enable interested students from other
centres to participate in the course.
Religion and Society:
For the last fifteen years many of my major
publications have been in the area of ‘Religion and Society’ with special
reference to South India. This includes two books published by Oxford
University Press (Divinity and Deviance: Women in Virasaivism,1996) and The
Indian Institute of Advanced Study (Walking Naked: Women, Society,
Spirituality in South India, 1997).
I continue to publish in this area of
specialisation as well as guide research.
I have published articles in national and
international journals using ballads, folk songs and tales as the basis for
studying social history especially of women. The most recent publication in
this field is '‘The Taming of Alli’ in ATLANTIS , the leading Canadian
Journal of Women’s Studies, vol 27, 2002.
Have been involved in research in the sphere
of women’s studies resulting in several publications over the years
including my book: Re-searching Indian Women (Manohar Publishers,
I also act as resource persons for
departments/universities specialising in women’s studies. The most recent is
the conduct of a full day’s workshop at the Women’s Studies Centre of Pune
University on September Twelfth, 2002.
RESEARCH / SELECT
Textiles and Weavers in Medieval South
India, Oxford University Press
2006, Textiles and Weavers in Medieval
South India, Second Edition, Oxford University Press.
Divinity and Deviance: Women in
Virasaivism, Oxford University Press
Walking Naked, Women, Society, Spirituality
in South India, The Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.
2007 Walking Naked, Women, Society,
Spirituality in South India, Second enlarged and revised edition, The Indian
Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.
2003 Re-searching Indian Women, Manohar
Publications, New Delhi.
Historical Dictionary of the Tamils.:
Forthcoming from Scarecrow Press, New York
‘Visvakarma Craftsmen in Early Medieval Peninsular India’, Journal of the
Economic and Social History of the Orient, vol.47, part 4, 2004.
of Alli in the Canadian Women’s Studies Journal of Mount St.Vincent
University, ATLANTIS, VOL.27, 2002
Interactions and Encounters: Indian Looms and Crafts Traditions Abroad - A
South Indian Perspective
in A. Rahman ed. India's
Interaction with China West Asia and Central Asia, OUP, 2002.
Weaves: Impact of Globalisation and Consumerism on Indian Weavers
Quarterly, Monsoon Issue, 2002.
Crafts Through History: A Historical Overview of Indian Craft Traditions
SEMINAR Special Issue on ‘Celebrating Crafts’, 23rd March,2003
Saints in Medieval Indian Society in A.Rahman edited History of Indian
Science, Technology and Culture:A.D.1000-1800, Oxford University Press,
Separatism and Cultural Negotiations: Gender Politics and Literature in
Tamilnadu in Social Scientist, vol.27, Nos 5-6, May-June 1998.
the Domestic in Tamil Folk Songs’, Man in India, Vol.74 No. 1, 1994
‘Metallurgy and Traditional Metal Crafts in Tamil Nadu’, Indian Journal of
History of Science, 29 (3), 1994
Rebels-Conformists? “Women Saints in Medieval South India”, Anthropos,
(published from Germany) March 1992
in Vijayanagar Society’, The Indian Economic and Social History Review, Vol.
XXII No.4, 1985
and Historical Role of Master Weavers in South Indian Textile Production’,
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. XXVIII, 1985
1981 Ph.D from Jawaharlal Nehru
University, New Delhi on "Weaving Communities of Medieval South India-A
Socio- Economic Survey"
1978 M.Phil from Jawaharlal
Nehru University, New Delhi on " Weavers of the Kanchipuram Region-circa 700
to 1700 A.D." First A (8 points on a 10 point scale)
1974 M.A. (History),with
specialisation in Medieval Indian History,
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi First
A Minus (7.4 on a 10 Point scale)
1972 B.A. (Hons) History, Delhi
University Second Division-57% (III rd Rank in Delhi University)
1969 Higher Secondary, Delhi
Board of Secondary Education First Division -64%
1974-76 Lecturer in History at Kirori Mal College,
1976-85 Lecturer in History, Gargi College, Delhi
1985-98 Reader in History, Gargi College, Delhi
1998-99 Reader in History, Dept of History, Delhi
1999-2001 UGC Research Awardee, Dept of History, Delhi
2002 Associate professor, Centre for
Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
2004 to date Professor, Centre for Historical
Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Resource Person for the past six years for
the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy, Musoorie.
Resource person for the Indian Institute of
As Indo-Shastri Fellow delivered lectures at
Ottawa, Association of Religious Studies; University of York and the
University of Toronto.
Presented a paper on the theme of ‘Terror and
Tranquility’ in the International Conference at Montreal, Canada on ‘World
Religions after September Eleventh, September 11-15, 2006.
AWARDS and HONOURS
2001 Prof. Hiralal Gupta
Research Award for the Best Book by a Woman Historian for the years
1996-2001, given by the Indian History Congress, Bhopal
Three-year UGC RESEARCH
AWARD for Social Scientists on "Tamil Women from the Underside of History-In
Search of a New Paradigm", tenable at University of Delhi.
1998 Indo-Shastri Canadian
Fellowship tenable at York University, Toronto, Canada.
1992-95 Fellow at the Indian
Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.
1989 Project for the Indian
Council of Historical Research on Crafts and Craft-Persons in South Indian
1988-89 Fulbright Fellowship to the
United States tenable at University of California, Berkeley, USA.
1985-87 Government of India Project
sanctioned by the Ministry of Commerce, (later Ministry of Textiles) on
Weaver Folk Traditions In South India.
1981 Award of the British
Council under the 'Exchange of Young Social Scientists Scheme tenable at the
School of Oriental and African Studies, London.