Alumnus Raghu Karnad Selected for Prestigious Fellowship

raghu karnad  photo by a mallick

Alumnus Raghu Karnad (MSc Contemporary India, 2008), an acclaimed writer and journalist, has been selected as a 2022 Fellow at The New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.  

From September until May 2023, Raghu will be working on a narrative account of the wartime internment of Japanese civilians in Delhi's Old Fort. 

The book promises to be an important addition to the global history of internment camps and the incarceration of innocent people on the basis of race and ethnicity - especially pertinent at a time when India is building new camps as part of its National Register of Citizens, widely criticized as discriminatory against the Muslim minority. 

“From a pool of phenomenal applicants, our judges have chosen a brightly lit class of Fellows, each pursuing astoundingly original work by exploring the Library’s manifold research collections in distinct ways,” said the New York Public Library in a press release. “To all of them we offer the Cullman Center as both sanctuary and community.” 

Raghu is a recipient of Yale's Windham-Campbell Prize for nonfiction. His book Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War was awarded the Young Writer's Prize from India's National Academy of Letters, and was shortlisted for the U.K. PEN Hessell-Tiltman History Prize.  

He is a former bureau chief at, a news website he helped to launch in 2015, and he also writes for the New Yorker, the Guardian, the Atlantic, the Indian Express, n+1, and the New York Times International Edition. 

The enormous risks Raghu takes as part of the editorial management of, and as a reporter shouldn’t be underestimated. His recent articles include accounts of the disastrous Covid outbreak in India and of environmental degradation. In the New Yorker, he has published hard-hitting articles on Kashmir, the India-China border, and the survival of Indigenous communities. 

While the history of internment camps in the United States and elsewhere have been widely written and discussed, their counterparts in Asia have not.  

Importantly, Raghu can provide this story from a non-western viewpoint. 

Raghu’s new work of literary nonfiction, an investigation of an internment camp built in British India for people of Japanese background, will be told through characters plucked from across British Asia and imprisoned there in Delhi.  

St Cross members will be keen to read his new book.

Congratulations, Raghu, on this fellowship!