Skip to main content

Richard Cohen

Assistant Professor, General Faculty


I hold a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Oriental Studies Department. My academic research focus is on the successor languages to Sanskrit, such as Prakrit, Apabhramsha and Hindavi (Old Hindi). I am also interested in the rise of the literary vernaculars such as Awadhi (eastern Old Hindi). This includes an interdisciplinary approach involving historical linguistics, the rhetoric deployed in medieval Indian compositions and the linking of painterly practices with texts.

Recently I have published a translation of the Chandayan (1379 CE), a Sufi allegorical composition, along with linguistic and compositional analysis. The book is available through It also contains essays by the art historians Naman Ahuja, Qamar Adamjee and Vivek Gupta.

I teach courses on pre-modern Indian literature, Indian Ocean trade during the pre-modern era and India in global perspective since independence in 1947.

Some of my publications are available on website.