The Penn South Asia Center welcomes Dr. Richard Eaton

Hailing from the University of Arizona, Dr. Richard Eaton will be a visiting scholar with the South Asia Center, along with the Department of History and CASI. 

Dr. Eaton, one of the most distinguished historians of South Asia today, will be joining us as a South Asia Center Spring 2024 Visiting Scholar co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI).  He is coming from the University of Arizona where he is a Professor of History. At Arizona Dr. Eaton primarily focuses on the social and cultural history of pre-modern India (1000-1800) while also teaching undergraduate courses on World History, and graduate courses on Comparative History.  He holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin.  Most recently, he published the second volume of the new Penguin history of India, entitled India in the Persianate Age, 1000-1765, which explores the long-term interaction between the Persianate and Sanskritic worlds, between the Iranian Plateau and South Asia, and between Islam and Indian religious traditions. Here at Penn Dr. Eaton will be pursuing the digitization and translating from shikasta script of archival documents from eastern India, pertaining to land grants in the Bengal region in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Dick will work with Ramya Sreenivasan (undergraduate chair for the Department of History), Brian Cannon (Ph.D., History, Fall 2021, currently with the Penn Writing Center), and with Dr. Austin Chad Hill, postdoctoral scholar in the Anthropology Department and a specialist in using GIS software for non-western, historical contexts, to develop historical maps of agricultural expansion on an environmental frontier in eastern and western India during the early modern era. We at SAC, CASI, and in the Department of History are so excited about how this work will demonstrate a model for historians to collaborate with archaeologists to write deeper and richer histories of the environment in South Asia and beyond.  

Dick is also a life-long trout bum, i.e., a dry-fly fisherman who eagerly awaits the late-spring or early-summer hatches of mayflies and other insects that bring hungry browns and rainbows to the surface of cold streams and rivers.  He vacillates between catch-and-release vs. hook-and-cook, the two rival camps of trout fishing.

This semester you can find Dr. Eaton in office 815 in Williams Hall and you may reach him at

Click here to learn more.

Dr. Eaton in a blue sweatshirt and gold glasses sitting. He is engaged in conversation and trees fill the background.