Professor Shruti Kapila teaches modern history and global political thought at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of History, and is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College. Kapila's principal fields of writing are modern and contemporary India, violence, global political thought, the British empire, psychoanalysis, race and gender. Her first book, Violent Fraternity: Indian Political Thought in the Global Age was praised as 'ground-breaking', 'highly original', 'brilliant' and 'transformative' of our understanding of India and global political languages.
Kapila does regular commentary for print and television including for the Financial Times, Prospect Magazine, BBC and Al Jazeera TV. She writes a fortnightly column for The Print, India. She also does regular podcasts for a range of public and academic sites.
Kapila was born, educated, and made in India. She graduated from Panjab University Chandigarh with top honours and read for a master’s in modern history at JNU, Delhi that was followed by a doctorate from SOAS, London University. Her professional life has been international and prior to Cambridge, she has held a research position at the University of Oxford and was Assistant Professor, in conjunction with a University Chair for Career Development, at Tufts University, Mass., USA.
Predating recent calls to ‘decolonise’ the curriculum by more than a decade, Kapila's academic life has been defined by centring the importance of India for the remaking of global political languages from anti-imperialism to democracy, violence, and justice. Her new projects include work on Indian democracy, the ideas of global conservatism, and a biography focusing on race and psychoanalysis in post-war London.
Away from the writing and the teaching room, Kapila is co-director of Global Humanities Project at Cambridge, and has worked on international strategy for the Vice-Chancellor's Office there. She also consults for selective UK and Indian government departments.