Director - G. Arunima






Contact Info:



Working in KCHR Since

December 2020

Education Summary

• Ph.D.Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK, History (1992)

• M.Phil.Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, UK, Social Anthropology (1987)

• M.A.Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, History (1986)

• B.A.University of Delhi, India, History (1984)

Professional Experience

• October 2015 onwards. Full Professor, Centre for Women’s Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 110067, India

• October 2006 onwards. Tenured Associate Professor, Centre for Women’s Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 110067, India

• July 1995 to October 2006. Tenured Senior Lecturer, History, Lady Sri Ram College, University of Delhi, India

• July 1998-June 1999. Visiting Professor in Modern India History, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University, Japan

• May 1994 to July 1995. Visiting Fellow, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

• July 1993 to April 1994. Research Associate, Department of History, University of Delhi, India 

Professional Milestones/ Achievements

• 2020. April – July. Fellow. Internationales Kolleg Morphomata,               University of Cologne, Germany.

• 2020. January – March. Scholar in Residence, Kerala Council for           Historical Research, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

• 2018. Visiting Professor, Institute of Culture and Memory Studies,         Ljubljana, Slovenia.

• 2018. CAS Visiting Professor, Department of Sociology, North               Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India.

• 2017. Visiting Fellow, Department of Geography, University of               Glasgow, UK.

• 2014. Scholar in Residence, Gallatin School of Individualized Study,       New York University, USA. 

• 2013. Fellow, Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, University of             Cologne, Germany

• 2009. SRTT Jadavpur University, National Fellow for 2008-09, School     of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India

• 2009. Visiting Fellow in Cultural Studies, Department of Cultural           Studies, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India

• 2002-2005. University Grants Commission Fellow, Nehru Memorial         Museum and Library, New Delhi, India

• July 1998-June 1999. Visiting Professor in Modern Indian History,         Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University,     Japan

• 1989-90. Eileen Power Memorial Scholarship, London School of             Economics and Political Science, UK

• 1988-89. Ellen MacArthur Research Award, University of Cambridge,     UK

• 1988-89. Michael Postan Award for Social and Economic History,           London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

• 1987-9. Trinity College Research Bursary, UK

• 1987-9. Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Research Bursary, UK 

• 1987-9. Overseas Research Award, Cambridge University, UK

• 1986-87. Overseas Development Award, Cambridge Commonwealth     Trust, UK

Academic Positions

• 2016 onwards: Committee of North East India Study Programme, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

• 2016 onwards: Advisory Committee for Assessment and Approving Research and Innovation Work, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

• 2014 – 2016 : Chairperson, Centre for Women’s Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

• 2006- 2014: Deputy Director, Centre for Women’s Studies (previously Women’s Studies Programme), School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 


• 2013 onwards: Member, Board of Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University

• 2010-12: Member, Standing Committee, Programme for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University

• 2005-06: Head, Department of History, Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi 

• Member, Editorial Board, Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics (Lectito, UK)

• Member, Advisory Board, Gender and History (Basil Blackwell, UK)

• Member, International Advisory Board, Learning for Democracy (Critical Press, UK)

• Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society

Research Interests


Ongoing Research

• Sacred Geographies, Hybrid Iconography: Faith Practices and Idioms of Malayali Religious Identity

• Gender, Photography, and Visual Practices in Contemporary India


Books (Monographs)


• 2003. ‘There Comes Papa’: Colonialism and the Transformation of Matriliny in Kerala, Malabar c.1850-1940, Orient Longman, Hyderabad

• 2018. ‘He, My Beloved C.J’, translation of ‘Ivan Ente Priya C.J’, from Malayalam to English, Women Unlimited.

Under Consideration (Bloomsbury)

• Novel Images: Aesthetics, Culture, and Modernity in Colonial South India, Kerala, 1870-1940.

• Love and Revolution: Essays on Politics and Affect in the Contemporary World (under consideration by Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements).

Under Preparation

• Chandu Menon: A Biography, Series on Modern Indian Greats, Oxford University Press (Commissioned).

• Beyond Likeness: Portraiture, its Many Manifestations and Possibilities, volume of edited essays of, Conference proceedings, JNU, January 2015. 

Articles (Peer Reviewed Journals, Edited Volumes, Book Chapters).


• 2020. “Cameras, Campuses and the Future of Politics in an Era of Imaging Technologies”, Contributions to Indian Sociology, February, 1-26.

• 2017. “Thought, Policies and Politics: How May We Imagine the Public University in India”, Kronos: South African Histories, Special Issue on ‘What is the University in Africa For’, Number 43, November. 

• 2016. “The Nation and its Regions: How Does it All Add Up?”, in Janaki Nair ed., What the Nation Really Needs To Know: The JNU Nationalism Lectures, Harper Collins India.

• 2016. ‘Bonds of Love, Ties of Kinship?: Or Are there Other Ways of Imagining the Family’, Indian Economic and Social History Review, Vol. 53, 3, (September, 2016).

• 2015. ‘Khandaan/the Household’, in Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach ed., Keywords in Modern Indian Studies, SOAS Studies in South Asia, OUP.

• 2015. ‘Ravi Varma’s Many Publics: Circulation and the Status of the “Art-Work”’, in Divya Dwivedi and Sanil V. ed., The Public Sphere from Outside the West, Bloomsbury Academic, London.

• 2015. ‘Reading, Writing, Region: the Early Malayalam Novel and the Problem of Identity’, in N. Jayaram ed. Ideas, Institutions, Processes: Essays in Memory of Satish Saberwal, Orient Blackswan.

• 2012. ‘Anna: the Image of India?’, Cultural Critique 81, Spring. 

• 2010. ‘Ayodhya Verdict: Bad Theology, Without Justice’, Economic and Political Weekly, October 9, vol xlv no 41. 

• 2008. ‘Shifting Sands: Satire, Selfhood and the Politics of Laughter’, in Tapasam, A Quarterly Journal for Kerala Studies in Malayalam and English.

• 2007. Entry on Marriage in Encyclopedia of Women in World History, Oxford University Press, New York.

• 2006. ‘Imagining Communities - Differently: Print, Language and the ‘Public Sphere’ in Colonial Kerala’, Indian Economic and Social History Review,XLIII, 1, January-March.

• 2006.  “Who is a Malayali Anyway? Language, Community and Identity in Precolonial Kerala”, in Satish Saberwal and Mushirul Hasan ed., Assertive Religious Identities : India and Europe, Manohar. 

• 2005."Friends and Lovers": Towards a History of Emotions in 19th and 20th century Kerala", in Bharati Ray ed. Women of India: Colonial and post Colonial Period, as part of the Indian Council for Philosophical Research series on Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture, Sage. 

• 2004. “Glimpses from a Writer's World: O. Chandu Menon, his Contemporaries, and their Times”, Studies in History, 20, 2, n.s. 

• 2003. "Pennuezhuthu: Gender and the Politics of Writing", in Suman Gupta, Tapan Basu and Subarno Chattarji ed., India in the Age of Globalization: Contemporary Discourses and Texts, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.2003.‘Face Value: Raja Ravi Varma’s Portraiture and the Aesthetics of Colonial Modernity’, Indian Economic and Social History Review, 40, 1. 2002. ‘Some Issues in an Analysis of Caste and Gender’, in Tapan Basu ed.,Translating Caste, Katha, New Delhi.  

• 2002. “Allies, Confidantes and Beloveds: Representations of Ideas of Friendship in 19th century Kerala”, Sujata Patel and Jashodhara Bagchi ed., Thinking Social Science in India: Festchrift Volume in Honour of Alice Thorner, Sage. 

• 1998."A Vindication of the Rights of Woman"?: Families and Legal Change in 19th century Malabar',in Michael Anderson and Sumit Guha ed. Changing Concepts of Rights and Justice in South Asia, OUP. 

• 1997. `Writing Culture: of Modernity and the Malayalam novel', Studies in History, 13, 2, n.s. 

• 1996; reprinted and anthologized 2007. `Multiple Meanings: Changing Perceptions of Matrilineal Kinship in 19th century Malabar', Indian Economic and Social History Review, 3, 3, 1996; also reprinted in Sumit Sarkar and Tanika Sarkar ed., Women and Social Reform in Modern India: A Reader, Permanent Black, New Delhi 2007.

• 1995. `Matriliny and its Discontents', India International Centre Quarterly, Special Issue on Kerala, Autumn.

Other Relevant Publications 

• 2013. ‘The Court, the Sting, and the Snoops: Where Does Justice Figure in All This?’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol –XLVIII No. 48, November 30.

• 2013. ‘Refashioning the Breast: Modern Medicine and Dispensable Female Body Parts’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol-XLVIII No. 20, May 18.

• 2012. ‘Sex and the Feminist’, Economic and Political Weekly, October 27th, Vol. XLVII, no. 47.

• 2012. ‘Cartoons, Textbooks and Politics of Pedagogy’, Economic and Political Weekly, June 2, Vol. XLVII, no. 22. 

• 1998. Book Chapter on Renaissance, Reformation and Science in Sumit Sarkar ed., European History, New Delhi, a textbook for the National Open School.