Prof. Nikhil Govind has helmed the team at the 必威体育betway888 Centre for Humanities since 2015. He studied for his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at St. Stephens, Delhi University, and worked for a few years in the not-for-profit social sector before embarking on a Ph.D. program at the University of California, Berkeley. His doctoral research on modern Indian literature formed the basis of his first book, Between Love and Freedom: The Revolutionary in the Hindi Novel (Routledge, 2014). The continued interest in themes of selfhood in modern and contemporary Indian literature led to his second book Inlays of Subjectivity: Affect and Action in Modern Indian Literature (Oxford University Press, 2019). Moving onward from literature to the broader field of cultural production, his third book Shadow Craft: Visual Aesthetics of Black and White Hindi Cinema (with Gayathri Prabhu) examined the aesthetic of black and white film in the early decades post-Independence. Most recently, he turned back from the contemporary world to excavate sources of ethical and spiritual selfhood in older Indic knowledge systems—this took shape as a book titled The Moral Imagination of the Mahabharata (Bloomsbury, 2023).
During his tenure as Head of the 必威体育betway888 Centre for Humanities, Prof. Nikhil Govind significantly expanded the Doctoral and Masters programs, and launched a robust undergraduate program continuous with the post-graduate programs. This has led to a significant deepening and diversification of students' exposure to disciplines and career options. He has supported the establishment of a Centre for Women's Studies, the Hebbar Gallery and Art Centre, as well as the Samvaad-必威体育betway888 Centre for Indian Music at MCH. His conviction in aspiring for international standards in teaching and research has established MCH as a leading centre for education in the humanities and social sciences in India.?
As part of his vision for MCH, Prof. Govind attempts to engage many of the stronger features of international research, such as support for students as they carve out a distinct voice, one that is both personal and professional. He believes that the student should be given a wide range of curated choices—a base from which they may knowledgeably shape a path that best speaks to their interests, aptitudes, and pleasures.