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Rita Kothari

Head of the Department, English and Professor of English, Ashoka University

Ph.D. Gujarat University

Rita Kothari is Professor of English, and the Head of the department of English at Ashoka University. She earned her M. Phil and her Ph.D. in Literary Studies and Translation from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad. She has previously taught at St.Xavier’s College (Ahmedabad), MICA (Ahmedabad) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar.

She is a multilingual scholar and translator whose work spans across different disciplines such as literature, cultural studies, anthropology, sociology and history. Her questions emerge from observations of regions and communities in the western part of the Indian subcontinent—Gujarat, Kutch and Sindh. Her ethnographic research on marginal communities—through religion, caste, occupation, and gender—focuses upon narratives of identity, raising questions of both linguistic and cultural translation. 

Professor Kothari has translated extensively from Gujarati and Sindhi into English, and occasionally vice versa. Her translations, as well as her edited volumes, have made significant contributions to the field of language politics and translation. 

Her teaching interests include language politics, caste and communalism, Bollywood, Indian literature, Translation Studies, Partition, Border Studies, Gujarat studies, and Sindh studies. Movement across languages, contexts, and cultures form the fulcrum of her interests, making translation the prism through which she sees the Indian context. 

Books Written 

  • Memories and Movements: Borders and Communities in Banni, Kutch, Gujarat (Orient Blackswan, 2013)
  • The Burden of Refuge: The Sindhi Hindus of Gujarat (Orient Blackswan, 2019)
  • Translating India: The Cultural Politics of English (Routledge UK, 2005; Cambridge University Press India, 2008)

Books Edited

  • A Multilingual Nation: Translation and Language Dynamics in India (Oxford University Press, 2018)
  • Chutnefying English: The Phenomenon of Hinglish (Penguin India, 2011), with Rupert Snell
  • Decentring Translation Studies: India and Beyond (John Benjamin Press, 2009), with Judy Wakabayashi
  • The Untranslated in Translation: A symposium on the linguistic and non-linguistic translation 
  • Partition and Sindh: Dispersals, Memories and Diasporas, with Priya Kumar 
  • South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies

Books Translated

(from Gujarati )

  • The Glory of Patan by K.M. Munshi, with Abhijit Kothari  (Penguin India, 2016)
  • The Lord and Master of Gujarat by K.M. Munshi, with Abhijit Kothari  (Penguin India, 2017)
  • The King of Kings by K.M. Munshi, with Abhijit Kothari (Penguin India, 2018)
  • Fence by Ila Arab Mehta (Zubaan Publishing, 2015)
  • Speech and Silence: Literary Journeys by Gujarati Women (Zubaan Publishing, 2006)
  • Angaliyat: The Stepchild (Oxford University Press, 2003)

(from Sindhi)

  • Unbordered Memories: Partition Stories from Sindh (Penguin India, 2009)
  • Translation Theory and Multilingual Contexts

  • Partition Literature

  • Scripting Caste

  • Indian Literature in Translation

  • Indian Civilizations

  • Samanvaya Vani Distinguished Translator

  • Rockefeller Foundation Fellow

  • Fulbright Visiting Professorship

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka