Visiting Public Humanities Faculty Fellow, 2022-2023

April 1, 2022 by Sonja Johnston

The JHI is excited to announce our 2022-23 Visiting Public Humanities Faculty Fellow⁠—Ruby Lal. She will join us this fall during our theme year Labour.

Ruby Lal is an acclaimed historian of India and Professor of South Asian Studies at Emory University. She taught previously at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Her fields of study include feminist history and theory, and the question of archive as it relates to writing about Islamic societies in the early modern and modern world. Author of numerous articles and essays for wider audience, her first book, Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World (Cambridge University Press, New York, 2005) won much acclaim, including numerous reviews in major international journals and magazines, such as The New York Review of Books, The Economic and Political Weekly, The Times Literary Supplement. Her second book, Coming of Age in Nineteenth Century India: The Girl-Child and the Art of Playfulness (Cambridge University Press, New York, 2013) was reviewed extensively in academic journals and magazines with wider intellectual concerns. Her recently published biography, Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan (NY: W.W. Norton, 2018, 2020 PB) was a finalist in History for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and won the Georgia Author of the Year Award in Biography. In 2020-21, she was appointed Senior Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies, Uppsala, Sweden where she was working on her new biography - Rebel Princess: The Great Adventures of Gulbadan (Yale University Press).

Fellowship Projects

Tiger Slayer, a young reader’s edition of Empress, the author’s biography of Mughal empress Nur Jahan, often considered the Cleopatra of South Asia (to be illustrated by National Book Award-nominated artist and journalist Molly Crabapple); W. W. Norton, NY.

Rebel Princess: The Great Adventures of Gulbadan, the biography of an extraordinary woman who left the harem of Mughal emperor Akbar the Great to travel across the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean to the Muslim Holy Lands, and who chronicled her adventures in the only extant prose document by a woman from the entire world of Classical Muslim Empires; Yale University Press, New Haven.

About this Fellowship

The Visiting Public Humanities Faculty Fellowship is intended to foster knowledge exchange between the academy and the public. It is a component of the Jackman Humanities Institute’s research commitment to public scholarship, discussion, debate, and examination across multiple media platforms.