Profile: Audrey Truschke

Assistant Professor

Department of History

Audrey Truschke received her Ph.D. in 2012 from Columbia University.
Her teaching and research interests focus on the cultural, imperial, and intellectual history of early modern and modern India (c. 1500-present). Her first book, Culture of Encounters, investigates the literary, social, and political roles of Sanskrit as it thrived in the Persian-speaking, Islamic Mughal courts from 1560 to 1650. Her second book, Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India's Most Controversial King, is a historical reassessment of one of the most hated kings in South Asian history (published in India and Pakistan as Aurangzeb: The Man and The Myth). More broadly she publishes on cross-cultural exchanges, historical memory, and imperial power. Her teaching interests also include modern India and Pakistan and religious debates and conflicts.
She maintains a website that promotes the use of online resources in the study of early modern India. You can view her full CV on her profile page.

  • Education

    Ph.D., Columbia University, 2012

    BA, University of Chicago, 2004

  • Publications

    Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India's Most Controversial King, Stanford University Press, 2017. link. (Indian edition by Penguin India and Pakistani edition by Oxford University Press - Karachi, both under title Aurangzeb: The Man and The Myth)

    “Deceptive Familiarity: European Perceptions of Access at the Mughal Court.” In The Key to Power? The Culture of Access in Princely Courts, 1400-1700, edited by Dries Raeymaekers and Sebastiaan Derks, 65-99. Leiden: Brill, 2016. download.

    “Imaginative Outsiders: Empowering Undergraduates to Analyze Religion,” in “Forum: Insiders, Outsiders, and Disclosure in the Undergraduate Classroom.” Teaching Theology & Religion 19.3 (2016): 282-286. download.

    Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court. Columbia University Press, South Asia Across the Disciplines Series, 2016. link.

    "Contested History: Brahmanical Memories of Relations with the Mughals.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 58.4 (2015): 419-452. download.

    “Regional Perceptions: Writing to the Mughal Court in Sanskrit.” In Cosmopolitismes en Asie du Sud. Sources, itinéraires, langues (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle), edited by Corinne Lefèvre, Ines Županov, and Jorge Flores. Paris, Editions de l’EHESS, 2015. download.

    “Dangerous Debates: Jain Responses to Theological Challenges at the Mughal Court.” Modern Asian Studies online Firstview (2015): 1-34. download.

    “Defining the Other: An Intellectual History of Sanskrit Lexicons and Grammars of Persian.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 40.6 (2012): 635-668. download.

    “Setting the Record Wrong: A Sanskrit Vision of Mughal Conquests.” South Asian History and Culture 3.3 (2012): 373-396. download.

    “Jainism and Islam” articles,, November 2012. Four article on: Jainism and Islam, Jains and the Delhi Sultanate, Jains and the Mughals, Jains and Muslim Iconoclasm. link.

    “The Mughal Book of War: A Persian Translation of the Sanskrit Mahabharata.Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 31.2 (2011): 506-520. download.


  • Awards

    John F. Richards Prize in South Asian History for Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court, American Historical Association, 2017

    Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Religious Studies, Stanford University, 2013-2016

    NEH Fellowship for Summer Institute on Problems in the Study of Religion, July 2014

    Research Fellowship in History, Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, 2012-2013  

    Perso-Indica Visiting Fellowship at the University Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris III, May-June 2012

    Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2011-2012

    Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, 2009-2010

  • Expertise

    South Asian history, Mughal Empire, modern India and Pakistan