William R. Pinch is a historian of South Asia, especially India. His work engages themes in historical representation, asceticism (in India and the West), and the nature and culture of politics. His book Peasants and Monks in British India (1996, University of California Press) examined the intersecting social, cultural, and intellectual histories of caste and asceticism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a focus on lineage claims and community histories. Warrior Ascetics and Indian Empires (2006, Cambridge University Press) contextualized the life and career of the eighteenth-century Śaiva warlord Anupgiri Gosain (a.k.a. Himmat Giri, Himmat Bahadur) in the long history and culture of Indic warrior asceticism. Pinch also edited the festschrift, Speaking of Peasants: Essays on Agrarian History and Politics in Honor of Walter Hauser (New Delhi: Manohar, 2008), and co-edited (with Ethan Kleinberg) the theme issue History and Theory in a Global Frame (2015).  He continues to serve as consulting editor for the journal History and Theory.

Pinch’s current work includes a micro-history of military life in mid-nineteenth-century north India, especially insofar as it illuminates the evolution of a nonviolent military mutiny into a full-blown armed revolt in May 1857; translations of two long eighteenth-century Hindi poems from Bundelkhand, with an eye toward their historical content and historiographical significance; and, most recently, a global intellectual history of yoga and the modern political yogi.  Pinch is Professor of History and Global South Asian Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, USA.

An abbreviated CV is available here.