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Karwaan Book Prize: Image

Karwaan Book Awards

"The writing of history has a method which historians observe and their work is judged by its application. Historians assessing new publications should contribute to strengthening this process." - Prof. Romila Thapar on the  Karwaan Book of the Year.

Karwaan: The Heritage Exploration Initiative has established the 'Karwaan Book of the Year' intending to promote and recognize some of the recent researches/publications on the history of the Indian subcontinent in four major categories: Ancient, Medieval, Modern and Contemporary History. This book prize consists of a citation, composed and signed by a Jury consisting of some of the seniormost historians from across the globe.

This year, we are honoured to host a Jury of 17 Historians, and notable authors with literary expertise from across the world.

Karwaan Book Prize: Text

Meet the Jury

Karwaan Book Prize: Text

Shortlist Jury

Karwaan Book Prize: Team Members

Romila Thapar

Jury Chair

Romila Thapar is an Indian historian and a leading scholar on ancient India. She is currently Professor Emerita in History at Jawaharlal Nehru University but has served as a visiting professor at a number of academic institutions around the world including London University, Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the College de France in Paris. During her career, Thapar has produced over fifteen volumes including The Penguin History of Early India: From the Origins to A.D. 1300, Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, and Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations.

Longlist Jury

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Amar Farooqui

Jury Chair

Prof. Amar Farooqui is a Professor of History at the University of Delhi. He taught history for many years at Hans Raj College, Delhi; and has been a Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. His publications include Early Social Formations (2002); Smuggling as Subversion: Colonialism, Indian Merchants and the Politics of Opium, 1790-1843 (revised edition, 2005); Opium City: The Making of Early Victorian Bombay (2006); Sindias and the Raj: Princely Gwalior, c. 1800-1850 (2011), and Zafar and the Raj: Anglo-Mughal Delhi, c. 1800-1850 (2013).


Najaf Haider


Prof. Najaf Haider did his D.Phil. from Oxford in 1997 and joined Delhi University as a Lecturer of Medieval Asian History and he is currently a Professor of Medieval History at Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences JNU. His research interests include the History of money, banking, credit and international exchange, history of book production and circulation, history of secretarial classes, and history of Delhi.


Suchandra Ghosh


Prof. Suchandra Ghosh is Professor, Department of History. She specializes in Early Indian History, with a focus on Epigraphy and Numismatics. She broadly takes interest in Politico-Cultural History of North-West India, Early India’s linkages with Early Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean Buddhist and Trade Network and history of the Everyday Life. Before joining University of Hyderabad, she was Professor in the department of Ancient Indian History & Culture, University of Calcutta (November 2000-June 2020). She is the Area Editor of The Encyclopaedia of Ancient History: Asia and Africa, Wiley Blackwell.


Sugata Ray


Dr. Sugata Ray is an Associate Professor of South and Southeast Asian art and architecture in the History of Art Department and the Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Trained in both history (Presidency College; Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta) and art history (Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda; University of Minnesota), Ray’s research and writing focus on climate change and the visual arts from the 1500s onwards. He is currently the Interim Director, of the Institute for South Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley.


Rohit De


Dr. Rohit De is a lawyer and historian of modern South Asia and focuses on the legal history of the Indian subcontinent and the common law world. As a legal historian he moves beyond asking what the law was; to what actors thought law was and how this knowledge shaped their quotidian tactics, thoughts and actions. In recent years, this has enabled his research to move beyond the political borders to South Asia to uncover transnational legal geographies of commerce, migration and rights across Africa, Southeast Asia and the Carribean. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of History, Yale University.


Mahmood Kooria


Dr. Mahmood Kooria is a historian affiliated with Leiden University in the Netherlands and Ashoka University in India.For several years now, He has been exploring the stories and histories of the Indian Ocean and Islamic worlds. His research interests also include the global history of law, Afro-Asian connections and the intellectual history of Islam. Currently he studies the matriarchal Muslim communities of the Indian Ocean littoral from East Africa to South East Asia.


Leela Gandhi


Prof. Leela Gandhi is a noted academic in the field of postcolonial theory. She is currently the John Hawkes Professor of Humanities and English and director of the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University. Gandhi previously taught at the University of Chicago, La Trobe University, and the University of Delhi. She is a founding co-editor of the academic journal Postcolonial Studies, and she serves on the editorial board of the electronic journal Postcolonial Text. She is a Senior Fellow of the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University.


Meera Visvanathan


Dr. Meera Visvanathan teaches at the Department of History, Shiv Nadar University. Dr. Meera Visvanathan’s dissertation research focused on the inscriptions of early historic India, and led her to examine issues of written culture, the interplay of languages and ethnic groups, and the contexts of communication involved in these early records. She is also interested in the social history of ancient India, with a focus on themes of caste and gender.


Manu V. Devadevan


Dr. Manu V. Devadevan is an Associate Professor of History at IIT Mandi. In 2019, he was awarded The Infosys Prize 2019 for Humanities for his highly original and wide-ranging work on pre-modern South India. His book A Pre-History of Hinduism offers a powerful and refreshing new approach to the study of the cultural history of India, based on his profound knowledge of sources in multiple languages. His other books include The ‘Early Medieval’ Origins of India, God Is Dead, There’s No God: Vachanas of Allama Prabhu.

Karwaan Book Prize: Team Members
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