Vinay Lal


Vinay Lal is Professor of History and Asian American Studies at UCLA. He earned his Ph.D. with Distinction from the University of Chicago in 1992 after undergraduate and Master’s degrees in literature and philosophy from Johns Hopkins University. He writes widely on Indian history, historiography, public and popular culture in India, the Indian diaspora, colonialism, human rights, and the architecture of nonviolence, Gandhi, and the global politics of knowledge systems. His seventeen books include the two-volume Oxford Anthology of the Modern Indian City (Oxford, 2013); Political Hinduism: The Religious Imagination in Public Spheres (ed., Oxford, 2009); The Future of Knowledge and Culture: A Dictionary for the Twenty-first Century, co-edited with Ashis Nandy (Viking Penguin, 2005); Of Cricket, Guinness and Gandhi: Essays on Indian History and Culture (Penguin, 2005); The History of History: Politics and Scholarship in Modern India (Oxford, 2003); Empire of Knowledge: Culture and Plurality in the Global Economy (Pluto Press, 2002); and, most recently, India and the Unthinkable: Backwaters Collective on Metaphysics and Politics I, co-edited with Roby Rajan (Oxford, 2016) and A Passionate Life: Writings by and on Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay (Zubaan Books, 2017), co-edited with Ellen Carol DuBois. His work has been translated into Hindi, Urdu, Kannada, French, German, Spanish, Finnish, Korean, and Persian. Works in progress include two books on Gandhi, a political study of fasting, and a book on internet Hinduism. He also has the distinction of being listed among the “101 Most Dangerous Professors in America” in David Horowitz’s book, The Professors, quite likely the only fifteen minutes of fame he will ever have in his life. He blogs at and maintains a YouTube channel.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | The Challenge of the Global South

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