Allison Busch

Allison Busch's research centers on early modern Hindi literature and intellectual history, with a special interest in courtly India. She did her Ph.D. (granted with distinction in 2003) at the University of Chicago in the department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations. She has published several articles on the literary and intellectual life of seventeenth-century sub-imperial courts. Poetry of Kings, her new book on Mughal- period Hindi literary culture, is now available from Oxford University Press. An edited volume (with Dr. Thomas de Bruijn of Leiden University) in progress focuses on the circulation of culture in late pre-colonial India. Her current research is on local histories from the Mughal-period that were recorded in Hindi's classical dialect, Brajbhasha.

Professor Busch teaches the MESAAS core course Asian Humanities, as well as a range of topics in Indian literature and cultural history, including seminars on Mughal India and India's court cultures. At least once per year she offers an in-depth Hindi literature class known as "Readings in Hindi," which is open to any undergraduate or graduate student with a minimum of two years of exposure to the language (or permission of the instructor). The themes vary each time. A sampling of readings (interested students can click on the links and even download many of the materials) is available here.


Select Publications

Recent Book

Poetry of Kings

Select Articles

(2011) Hindi Literary Beginnings. In South Asian Texts in History, edited by Whitney Cox, Yigal Bronner, and Lawrence McCrea. Ann Arbor: Association for Asian Studies. Read this article here

(2010) "Hidden in Plain View: Brajbhasha Poets at the Mughal Court." Modern Asian Studies 44 (2), pp. 267-309. Read this article here.

(2010) "Riti and Register: Lexical Variation in Courtly Braj Bhasha Texts." In Hindi- Urdu Before the Divide, ed. Francesca Orsini, Delhi: Orient Blackswan, pp. 84- 120. Read this article here.

(2009) "Braj beyond Braj: Classical Hindi in the Mughal World." IIC Occasional Publications (12), pp. 1-33.Read this article here

(2006) "Questioning the Tropes about 'Bhakti' and 'Riti'" in Hindi Literary Historiography. In Bhakti in Current Research, ed. Monika Horstmann. Delhi: Manohar, pp. 33-47.Read this article here.

(2005) "Literary Responses to the Mughal Imperium: the Historical Poems of Kesavdas." South Asia Research 25(1), pp. 31-54. Read this article here.

(2004) "The Anxiety of Innovation: The Practice of Literary Science in the Hindi Riti Tradition." Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 24 (2), pp. 45-59 Read this article here.

Recent Translations

Allison Busch's translations of Urdu fiction and Hindi criticism are available in a new anthology edited by Shobna Nijhawan of York University, Canada. The volume, published in 2010 by Permanent Black, India, is entitled Nationalism in the Vernacular: Hindi, Urdu, and the Literature of Indian Freedom, ed. Shobna Nijhawan. Some details are available here.

View Curriculum Vitae