Rochelle Pinto

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Colonial Novel and Ethnography
  • Nineteenth-century History of Goa
  • History of Print in India
  • Iberian Colonialism
  • Origin Narratives and Claims on Land
  • Theories of Time and History


Rochelle Pinto received her doctorate degree from the Department of Languages and Cultures of South Asia at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London. Her primary academic training was at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi where she received a Master of Arts (MA) degree in English. She has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in English from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. She also has a diploma in Social Communication and Media from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai.

Her research interests draw on historical and literary studies, with a specific focus on Iberian colonial rule in Goa. Her doctoral work was on the nature of print production and colonial rule in nineteenth-century Goa. 

Most recently, her work has explored the role of origin narratives in claims on land in Goa. A linked research interest is the hold of ethnography as a master narrative in the colonial novel in India, and its significance for literary history. 

Prior to joining Azim Premji University, she was a research fellow at L’Institut d’Études Avancées de Nantes (2019 – 2020), the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), New Delhi (2015 – 2017), and the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi (2014 – 2015). She taught English at Delhi University, and at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS), Bengaluru, where she co-directed a project, Archive and Access’, between 2009 and 2011

She was a member of the project Pensando Goa – uma peculiar biblioteca de língua portuguesa based in the Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, and O Grupo Internacional de Estudos da Imprensa Periódica Colonial do Império Português on the periodical press in Portuguese colonies.

Her recent book, Translation, script and orality: Becoming a Language of State, is an edited anthology on discourses around script and translation in Konkani, published by Orient BlackSwan Pvt. Ltd. in 2021.

Her book, Between Empires: Print and Politics in Goa, published by Oxford University Press received the Hira Lal Gupta research award at the Indian History Congress (2009) for the best book on Indian History by a woman author, published during the years 2004 – 2008.




Book Chapters

  • Pinto, R. (2020). Historians and their public. In M. Dodd, & N. Kalra (Eds.), Exploring Digital Humanities in India (pp.40 – 54). Routledge India.
  • Pinto, R. (2019). Govinda Samanta, or eluding ethnography in the colonial novel. In B. Bhattacharya, & S. Sen (Eds.), Novel Formations (pp. 98 – 134). Permanent Black.
  • Pinto, R. (2017). Settling the land: The village and the threat of capital in the novel in Goa. In S. Chaudhuri, J. McDonagh, B. H. Murray, & R.S. Rajan (Eds.), Commodities and Affect (pp.100 – 112). Routledge.
  • Pinto, R. (2015). At Home in Bombay: Housing Konkani print. In A. Gupta, & S. Chakravorty (Eds.), Founts of Knowledge, Volume III, Book History in India (pp. 74 – 105). OrientBlackswan.
  • Pinto, R. and Balachandran, A. (2011). Archives and the State. The Centre for Internet and Society. https://​cis​-india​.org/​r​a​w​/​h​i​s​t​o​r​i​e​s​-​o​f​-​t​h​e​-​i​n​t​e​r​n​e​t​/​b​l​o​g​s​/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​s​-​a​n​d​-​a​c​c​e​s​s​/​a​r​c​h​i​v​e​s​-​a​n​d​-​a​ccess
  • Pinto, R. (2010). Temporality and colonialism between Goa and Latin America. In M. Boatca and W. Spohn (Eds.), Globale, Multiple und Postkoloniale Modernen (pp. 263 – 284). Rainer Hampp Verlag.
  • Pinto, R. (2010). A diffused history of race: The Portuguese presence in the Indian Ocean. In P. Gupta, I. Hofmeyr, & M. Pearson (Eds.), Eyes Across the Water: Navigating the Indian Ocean (pp. 238 – 257). UNISA Press.
  • Pinto, R. (2009). Traveling Science: Anthropometry and colonialism in the Indian Ocean. In S. Moorthy & A. Jamal (Eds.), Indian Ocean Studies: Cultural, Social, and Political Perspectives (pp. 319 – 339). Routledge.

Journal Articles

Book Reviews