Prof. William R. Pinch
Specialization: History
Home institution in US: Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
Host Institution in India: University of Delhi, Delhi  
Start date/Month in India: September 2012
Duration of grant: 9 months

Brief Bio:
Prof. William Pinch was educated at the University of Virginia, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1990. In 1991 he joined the faculty at Wesleyan University; from 2009 to 2012 he was Chair of the Department of History. Pinch is the author of two books, Peasants and Monks in British India (California 1996) and Warrior Ascetics and Indian Empires (Cambridge 2006), as well as numerous book chapters, essays and journal articles. He also the editor of Speaking of Peasants: Essays in Indian History and Politics in Honor of Walter Hauser (Delhi 2008). In 2012 he became an associate editor the journal History and Theory. His research and teaching focuses on South Asian history, world/global history, theory in history and historiography.

Prof. Pinch’s Fulbright project, “Staging the Mutiny: Soldiers, Ascetics, and Prostitutes in the Making of 1857,” takes the military uprising at Meerut as its point of departure, particularly the key roles played by ascetics and prostitutes in fomenting mutinous violence among the infantry and cavalry units stationed in that major garrison town. The work then turns to evidence across northern India in the nineteenth century to discern the overlapping thought worlds and bodily understandings of ascetics, prostitutes, and soldiers. The explosive intersection of these arenas in 1857, Pinch argues, reflects and reveals the importance of sexuality, gender, and religion for the evolution of the modern state.