Prof Rangarajan has been selected for contributing to our understanding of nature-society interactions through his ideas and scholarship on history, politics and environment. His research explores how the history of humanity’s co-existence with forests and wildlife could revise current conservation practice, and his writings have made these ideas on the environment and environmental issues accessible to academic as well as popular media. Prof Mahesh Rangarajan has a special interest in environmental history and colonial history of British and contemporary India.
Prof Rangarajan is Director of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. He did his BA in History from Hindu College, University of Delhi. He was awarded a BA and MA in Modern History by Balliol College and did his doctorate at Nuffield College, both in Oxford University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar, 1986-89).
He has taught at Cornell and Jadavpur Universities and at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru. From 2007-11, he was Professor in Modern Indian History at the Department of History, University of Delhi. In 2010, he was chair of the Elephant Task Force of the Government of India.
His first book, Fencing the Forest, was published in 1996. His works include the co-edited Environmental History as if Nature Existed (2010), India's Environmental History (2012) and two recent books, Nature without Borders (2014) and Shifting Ground (2014). He is working on a collection of essays titled Nature and Nation.