Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Ketaki Pant

Brown University Cogut Center for the Humanities Post-Doctoral Associate

Ketaki Pant (History) is a historian with anthropological leanings whose research interests center on South Asia as part of the Indian Ocean world. Her first book project “Homes of Capital: Merchants and the Historical Imagination across Indian Ocean Gujarat” examines nineteenth- and twentieth-century intersections of political economy and the historical imagination among Muslim and Parsi merchants of Gujarat. This project explores the perseverance of a long-historical imagination of Indian Ocean itinerancy within historic merchant homes, in texts, artworks, material objects and historical memories. It shows that this imagination was an important form of capital to Gujarat’s merchants and shaped their engagement in oceanic and global trade. Her second project is an ethnographic history of the nineteenth-century Muslim zanana (harem) of the Indian Ocean. Pant’s other interests include the oceanic journeys of the Gujarati language and ethno-memoir as a genre of analytic writing. At Brown, she will teach courses in the History Department focused on the Indian Ocean world.


She received a B.A in History and Africana Studies from Bard College and an M.A. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University. In 2015, she earned her Ph.D. in History from Duke University. Her research has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Harvard University’s Asia Center and Women’s Studies at Duke University.