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Ayesha Kidwai is Professor at the Centre for Linguistics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She was awarded a doctorate in linguistics from Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1995. Awarded the Infosys Prize in Humanities in 2013, Kidwai is a theoretical linguist who studies the morphology and syntax of lesser-known Indian languages. She has published extensively in several fields of linguistics, and has served as Senior Editor of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia in Linguistics (2014-19). She also writes on gender issues, academic freedom, and educational policy, and is an activist in university spaces for the fair and just inquiry procedures on complaints of sexual harassment.



Kidwai is also a translator between Hindi/Urdu and English. Her English translation of Anis Kidwai’s Urdu memoir of the Partition as In Freedom’s Shade (Penguin 2011) has been widely acclaimed. It was short-listed for the Economist Crossword Book Award in 2012. Her most recent book (2021) is an annotated translation of Anis Kidwai’s The Dust of the Caravan from Zubaan Books and NewText. In 2018, she was awarded the Arts & Literary Arts fellowship to the Bellagio Centre for this manuscript.



Kidwai’s current project is a research monograph on George A. Grierson’s contribution to the development of the methodology of field linguistics and language typology in the history of linguistics.

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Ayesha Kidwai

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