Aparna Kapadia

Photo of Aparna Kapadia

Associate Professor of History

413-597-4966
Hollander Hall Rm 253

Spring 2022 Class Hours

Mon / Thu – 2:35 pm to 3:50 pm
Tue / Thu – 8:30 am to 9:45 am

Spring 2022 Office Hours

Tue – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm (Zoom – Link on Glow)
(And By Appointment)


Education

B.A. St. Xavier's College, Mumbai University (1998)
M.A. Jawaharlal Nehru University (2001)
M.Phil. Jawaharlal Nehru University, History (2005)
Ph.D. University of London, History (2010)

Biography

Aparna Kapadia is a historian of South Asia. Her research interests include the literary and social history of South Asia from 1200-1950, food and business history and the history of the Indian Ocean world. She is the author of In Praise of Kings: Rajputs, Sultans and Poets in Fifteenth-Century Gujarat (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and co-editor of The Idea of Gujarat: History, Ethnography and Text (Orient Blackswan, 2010). She is currently working on a new book project that investigates the rise and shaping of a western Indian business community, the Gujarati Bhatias their role in the making of the colonial port city of Bombay and Indian Ocean trading networks.

Kapadia has an undergraduate degree in history from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai and MA and MPhil degrees from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. She received her PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London subsequently held a Mellon Post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford until 2011. She was Assistant Professor of History at Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) before joining Williams College in 2013.
Kapadia also serves as Associate Editor on The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (JRAS)’s Editorial Board and writes a column on history called Off Centre for Scroll.in.

Selected Publications

Kapadia, Aparna, In Praise of Kings: Rajputs, Sultans and Poets in Fifteenth-Century Gujarat. Cambridge University Press, 2018.

Kapadia, Aparna, ‘Universal Poet, Local Kings: Sanskrit, the Rhetoric of Kingship and Local Kingdoms in Gujarat’ in Francesca Orsini and Samira Sheikh (eds), After Timur Left: Multiple Spaces of Cultural Production and Circulation in Fifteenth-century North India, OUP, New Delhi, 2014.

Kapadia, Aparna, ‘The Last Cakravartin?: The Gujarat Sultan as ‘Universal King’ in Fifteenth Century Sanskrit Poetry’, Medieval History Journal, vol. 16, no. 1 (April 2013):63-88.

Kapadia, Aparna, ‘Alexander Forbes and the Making of a Regional History,’ in Edward Simpson and Aparna Kapadia (eds), The Idea of Gujarat: History, Ethnography and Text, New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2010.

Simpson, Edward and Aparna Kapadia (eds), The Idea of Gujarat: History, Ethnography and Text, New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2010.

Kapadia, Aparna, ‘What Makes the Head Turn: The Narratives of Kānhaḍade and the Dynamics of Legitimacy in Western India’, SAGAR, vol. 18, Spring 2008, pp. 87-100.

Research Interests

South Asian history, literary and popular culture, Indian Ocean history,  history of food and culinary practices.

Theses Advised

Benjamin Nathan ’15The Administrative Strategy of Thomas Stamford Raffles in Java 1811-1816