Associate Professor of History
Rajeev Kinra (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2008) is a cultural historian of early modern South Asia, with a special emphasis on the literary, intellectual, religious, and political cultures of the Mughal and early British Empires in India (~16th-19th centuries). His research draws on several linguistic traditions (especially Persian, but also Hindi-Urdu and Sanskrit), to examine diverse modes of civility, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, and cultural modernity across the Indo-Persian and Indian Ocean worlds. Many of these themes are also explored in his recent book on the life, Persian writings, and cultural-historical milieu of the celebrated Mughal state secretary and poet, Chandar Bhan “Brahman” (d. ~1670), Writing Self, Writing Empire: Chandar Bhan Brahman and the Cultural World of the Indo-Persian State Secretary (University of California Press, 2015), part of the award-winning "South Asia Across the Disciplines" series. Kinra has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including a research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2010-11), and most recently a "Big Ideas" grant from Northwestern's Buffett Institute for Global Studies to launch (with co-director Laura Brueck) a new Global Humanities Initiative.
Kinra is a member of the international research group Perso-Indica, and serves on the advisory board, or Collegium, for the Berlin-based research project known as Zukunftsphilologie ["Future Philology"]: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship, as well as the editorial board for the journal Philological Encounters. He also serves on the academic council for the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA).
Kinra currently serves as the Director of Northwestern's Asian Studies Program (ASP) (2015-18), and co-director of Northwestern's Global Humanities Initiative (GHI). He is also an affiliated member and/or serves on the advisory committees of several other departments and programs, including: