Ananya Vajpeyi

Centre for the Study of Developing Societies; Global Ethics Fellow Alumna

Ananya Vajpeyi is a fellow and associate professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, working at the intersection of intellectual history, political theory, and critical philology. She is currently writing two books: one, a history of caste categories in India from pre-colonial to modern times, and the other, her long-term project, a life of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (1891-1956).

Her first book Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India was named book of the year 2012 by The Guardian and The New Republic. It received the 41st Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize from Harvard University Press, the Tata First Book Award for Non-Fiction (2013), and the Crossword Award for Non-Fiction (2013).

Vajpeyi was educated at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (MA), the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar (MPhil), and the University of Chicago (Ph.D.).

She has taught at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; in the history department at the University of Massachusetts Boston; and at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. Most recently she was a visiting professor in South Asian and North African studies at the University of Venice, Ca' Foscari (Spring 2014).

Vajpeyi has held post-doctoral fellowships at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, JNU, and the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. She has been an IDRC visiting fellow at CSDS, a senior fellow with the American Institute of Indian Studies, and a Kluge Fellow at the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC in 2013 and 2014.

Vajpeyi writes regularly for The Hindu newspaper and guest-edits an issue of Seminar magazine annually. She contributes often to Foreign Affairs and World Policy Journal. Recent publications include an op-ed in The New York Times, an essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books and an interview on, with the editor of Foreign Affairs, Gideon Rose. She has a chapter in K. Satchidanandan Ed. Words Matter: Writings against Silence (Penguin 2016). Her review essay about Patrick Olivelle's translation of Kautilya's Arthaśāstra appeared in the July 1, 2016 issue of Public Books. Her article ""The Return of Sanskrit"" appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of World Policy Journal.