Ramachandra Guha


Years of Stay at HYI

Sep 2010 to Jun 2011

Ramachandra Guha is a historian and columnist based in Bangalore. Born in Dehradun in 1958, he studied at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and obtained his doctorate from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. Between 1985 and 1995 he held academic jobs in India, Europe, and North America. Since 1995 he has been a full-time writer. In 1997 and 1998 he was Indo-American Community Chair Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2004 he was Sundaraja Visiting Professor in the Humanities at the Indian Institute of Science. In 2008 he held the Arné Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the universities of Yale and Stanford, a Senior Associate Member of St. Anthony’s College, Oxford, a Senior Fellow of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi, and a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Ramachandra Guha’s first book was The Unquiet Woods, jointly published by Oxford University Press and the University of California Press in 1989. This is a social history of the Himalayan forests, from the nineteenth century down to the celebrated Chipko movement. A reviewer in The Indian Economic and Social History Review called the book ‘the first full-scale monograph in the field of Indian ecological history’, adding that it ‘brings at once to this little-explored field a kind of intellectual fluency and alertness which future researchers will often find difficult to equal’. A reviewer in the American Ethnologist described The Unquiet Woods as ‘an uncommon story told in an uncommonly eloquent manner’, and ‘one of the decade’s most significant contributions to the social history of the environment’. The book has been reprinted six times, and a twentieth anniversary edition was published in 2009.

Interested in becoming a Harvard-Yenching Institute fellow or scholar?

Learn More