Faculty Profile


Dr. Tanuja Kothiyal


PhD from Centre of Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Past Experience

Lecturer in History, Government Girls PG College, Jhalawar, Rajasthan.

My Zone / Area of Expertise

Tanuja Kothiyal has explored identity formation in relation to circulation of people, cattle, commodities, ideas and traditions in the Thar Desert between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries. She has been interested in studying shifts in regional formations and questions of authority and sovereignty in the borderlands. She is currently working on her second book, which engages with contours of history writing in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Rajputana, addressing questions of constructions of historical consciousness and archives.

As part of her research, Tanuja Kothiyal has been engaging with the oral archive in the form of oral narrative traditions in the Thar desert. Through this engagement she has been trying to map region formations along with the circulation of narratives and their performative structures.


Undergraduate Courses:

  • SUS1HS404: Medieval India: Polity and Administration,
  • SUS1HS431-Understanding the Past: Myths, Epics, Chronicles and Histories
  • SUS1FC042: Introduction to the Social Sciences

Masters Program in History:

Taught Courses

  • SLS2HS001: State in Indian History (Pre-modern)
  • SLS2HS108: Oral Epics in India: Exploring History and Identity
  • SLS2HS105: Aspects of Rural History in Western India

Research Seminar Course

  • SLS2HS303: Conceptualizing a Region

MPhil Taught Courses

  • SLS3HR1: Historical Methods (Modules on Structuralism, Annals and Micro History)
  • SLS3HR3: Historiography (Module on Regional History)
  • Research Supervision Areas: State, Politics, Religion in Medieval India, Borderlands, Regions, Oral Traditions.


Fellowship at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, 2014-16.



  • Kothiyal, T. (2016), Nomadic Narratives: A History of Mobility and Identity in the Great Indian Desert. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Edited Volume:

  • Kothiyal, T. and Ibrahim, F., (Eds.) (2017) Exploring Borderlands in South Asia, EPW Special Volume Vol. 52, Issue No. 15, 15 Apr, 2017.


  • T (2017) ‘Frontiers, State and Banditry in Thar Desert in the Nineteenth Century’ in Economic and Political Weekly Special Volume on Borderlands, (Eds.) Tanuja and Farhana Ibrahim, Vol. 52, Issue No. 15, 15 Apr, 2017.
  • T., (2017) ‘A “Mughal” Rajput or a “Rajput” Mughal: Some Reflections on Rajput-Mughal Marriages in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries’ in Revisiting the History of Rajasthan: Essays for Prof Dilbagh Singh, (Eds.) Mayank Kumar, Rameshwar Prasad Bahuguna and Surajbhan Bharadwaj. New Delhi: Primus, 2017.

Book Reviews:

  • T. (2015) ‘Centrality of Water in Pre-Modern Rajasthan’, Book Review, Monsoon Ecologies: Irrigation, Agriculture and Settlement Patterns in Rajasthan during the Pre-Colonial Period by Mayank Kumar, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol-L No 28, July 11, pp. 31-33.
  • T. (2013) A ‘Mental Programme’ of the Medieval Indian, Book Review, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol - XLVIII No. 37, September 14, pp. 28-30.
  • T. (2010) ‘Understanding Social Change in Medieval India’, Review Article, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol XLV, Nos 44 & 45, Oct 30-Nov 12, 2010, pp. 26-29.

Web Articles:

  • Kothiyal, T., (2017), What history tells us: Rani Padmini travelled far and wide, from Rajasthan to Bollywood via Bengal, Scroll, November 15, 2017.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2017) ‘History teaches us why today’s self-styled gau-rakshaks will harm the cattle-rearing economy, Scroll, April 7, 2017.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2017) ‘Persistence of Memory: Never mind History, Padmavati is as real for Rajputs as their famed valour’, Scroll, January 29, 2017.

Seminar / Conferences

  • Kothiyal, T., (2018), ‘Crafty Devis and Devious Pirs: Charani Goddess Temple Networks in the Great Indian Desert’ as part of panel titled ‘Beyond Padmavati: Historizing Memory in Modi’s India at Annual Conference on South Asia, at Madison, Wisconsin, October 13, 2018.
  • Kothiyal, T., 2018, ‘Sovereignty, Authority and Control in the Borderlands: Religious Shrines and Networks in the Thar Desert (c 1400-1800)’ at a conference titled Mastery, Ownership and Divinity: Self and Power in Transregional and Transtemporal Perspectives, at LMU, Munich, September 18, 2018.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2018) ‘Heroism and Historiography in the Contemporary Milieu’ in a conference titled State and Society in South Asia, organized by Department of History, St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, on 31st January 2018.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2017) ‘Rajputana, Rajasthan, Rajasthani: The making of a History/Region/Archive’ at workshop titled, Language, Region, Knowledge: Colonial Disciplines to Indian Social Sciences, Institute of Economic B=Growth, New Delhi, 4-5 May 2017.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2017), ‘Migration, Family and Custom in Early Modern Marwar’, Legal History Workshop, at Department of History, University of Delhi, 24 March 2017.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2017) ‘A Murder in Shah Jahan’s Court: Loyalty and Rebellion in Mid-Seventeenth Century’ as part of panel ‘Beyond Victory and Defeat: History and Memory in Battle Narratives from Early Modern South Asia’ at the Annual Conference of Association of Asian Studies, in Toronto, March 18, 2017.
  • Kothiyal, T., ( 2017) , ‘The Shifting Frontiers of Al-Hind: The Making of the Medieval’, in a Seminar, Time Frames: Questioning Chronologies in South Asia’s Pasts, at Shiv Nadar University, GB Nagar, 24–25 February, 2017.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2017), ‘Nomadic Narratives in the Thar Desert’ at the CHS seminar series on January 18, 2017.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2016), ‘Wool Production and Circulation in the Thar desert in the Eighteenth Century’, in a seminar, Material Culture in Pre-Colonial India, at CHS and JNIAS, at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 4–5 November 2016.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2016), ‘Archive and Access’ Centre for Study of Law and Governance, JNU, New Delhi, 27 September, 2016.
  • Kothiyal, T. , (2016), “A ‘Murder’ in Shah Jahan’s Court: Reading Imperial Histories in Regional Narratives” Ashoka University, Sonepat, India, 5 October 2016.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2016), ‘Thar Desert: The Making and unmaking of a Region’, in National Conference on Making of Regions in South Asian History, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India, (9-10 March, 2016).
  • Kothiyal, T., (2016), ‘The Sketch of a Fisadi: Amar Singh Rathor 1613-1644’, National Seminar on Ideas, Traditions and Cultural Values in Medieval India, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India (23-15 February, 2016).
  • T., (2015) ‘Famine and Relief in Pre-colonial Rajasthan’ in Conference on Food Security and the Environment in India and Britain: Historical and Cultural Perspectives, Oxford University Centre for Environment, Oxford, (3-4, September, 2015).
  • Kothiyal, T, (2015), ‘The (Un)Making of the Thar Desert’, Paper presented at the AAS in Asia Conference as part of Organized Panel Titled “Reconsidering Regions in South Asia”, Taipei, (22-14 June2015).
  • T., (2015), ‘Reading Nainsi: Textures in Medieval Narrative Traditions’, Delhi University Seminar Series, Department of History, University of Delhi, 16, September, 2016.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2015), ‘Pastoralism and Folk Traditions in Rajasthan’, Refresher Course in Rajasthan Studies, Academic Staff College, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India, 17 August 2015.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2015), ‘A “Mughal” Rajput or a “Rajput” Mughal: Rajput-Mughal Relationships on the Frontiers of the Thar, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, 6 October, 2015.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2014), ‘Between Hearsay and History: Medieval Narrative Traditions in Rajasthan’ Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, 25 November 2014.
  • Kothiyal, T., (2014), ‘Regions, Frontiers and Mobilities : Nomadic Narratives in The Thar Desert’, Paper Presented at the Annual Conference of Association of Asian Studies, as part of Organized Panel Titled “Regions, Frontiers, Mobilities”, Philadelphia, USA, (27 to 30 March 2014).
  • Kothiyal, T., (2014), ‘Re-appropriating Pabuji: History, Memory and Identity in a Rajput Epic’, in UGC Sponsored National Seminar in collaboration with the Department of English, University of Delhi on Intersections: History and Literature, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, University of Delhi, India (11-12 March, 2014).
  • Kothiyal, T., (2012), ‘Interrogating Tribe and Caste in Rajasthan’, in Making Sense of Contemporary India’ Workshop organized by the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, in collaboration with King’s India Institute, King’s College London, (12 September 2012).
  • Kothiyal, T., (2012), ‘Market and the State in Late Eighteenth Century Marwar’, in National Conference on Revisiting the ‘Eighteenth Century’ in Indian History, Department of History & Culture, Jamia Millia Islamia, and supported by the DRS-SAP Programme on (21_22 March 2012).
  • Kothiyal, T., (2011), ‘Appropriating Pabuji: Identity in a “Rajput” Epic’, UGC National Workshop on Literary Historiographies of Western India at MSU, Vadodara, (4-5 Feb, 2011).