Upcoming and past events with Ruby Lal

Upcoming Events

Women’s History Month event

More Information

Date: March 6, 2024
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Charis Bookstore
184 S Candler St
Decatur, GA 30030

In conversation with Lois Reitzes, Host City Lights, NPR

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and A Cappella Books welcome Emory University professor and acclaimed historian Ruby Lal to discuss her fascinating new book, “Vagabond Princess: The Great Adventures of Gulbadan.” The author will appear in conversation with Lois Reitzes, host of WABE’s “City Lights.”

This event is free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the venue. Masks are optional.

Date: March 14, 2024
7:00 pm

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library
441 John Lewis Freedom Parkway, NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

Invited International Fellow

Date: May 22, 2024 - June 3, 2024

University of Bonn, Germany

The Royal Asiatic Society, London

Details TBA

Date: June 6, 2024

Jaipur Literary Festival London

Details TBA

Date: June 7, 2024 - June 9, 2024

Pakistan Society

Details TBA

Date: June 11, 2024

Ring Lake Ranch, Wyoming

Details TBA

Date: August 11, 2024 - August 17, 2024

Indian Diaspora Washington DC Metro Forum

Details TBA

Date: October 12, 2024

St. Bonaventure University

Details TBA

Date: October 21, 2024 - October 23, 2024

Ruby Lal, Keynote Address, The Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Emory University.
January 29, 2020.

Past Events

Women’s History Month kickoff event

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Promotional ad for Ruby Lal and Shubha Sunder at Harvard Book Store

Date: March 1, 2024
7:00 pm

Harvard Bookstore
1256 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

Vagabond Princess at The Loft

Vagabond Princess at The Loft

Date: December 22, 2023
7:00 pm

The Loft
Hotel Studio Estique, Amar Avinash Corporate Plaza, Agarkar Nagar

The Karwaan Keynote

The Karwaan Keynote

Date: December 11, 2023
7:00 pm

The Theatre, India Habitat Centre
Lodhi Road Near Airforce Bal Bharati School, Lodhi Rd, Lodhi Estate
New Delhi

Abidi Memorial Lecture

Abidi Memorial Lecture

Date: December 10, 2023
5:00 pm

Iran House
J6FQ+23P, Tilak Marg, Bhagwan Das Lane, Mandi House
New Delhi

Nur Jahan; the Scheherazade Project, Episode #2 of 101Nights!

Date: July 26, 2020 - July 26, 2020
8:00 pm

Live Streaming

The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Professor Ruby Lal in Conversation with Rana Safvi

Date: June 12, 2020 - June 12, 2020
10:00 am - 11:00 am

The History Women

Candid Talk Episode III

History, with its usual concomitant of kings, forts and battles, has traditionally been seen as a man’s world – and by corollary – the writing of it, as a man’s vocation. In this special episode, we turn the lens to the pre-eminent women whose work on Indian History has given us a fresh perspective, and enabled us to view the past in a new light.

Date: June 4, 2020 - June 4, 2020
10:00 am - 11:00 am

Empress: Nur Jahan, Women and Power with Ruby Lal and Gail O'Neill | Charis Books & More

Join Charis in welcoming historian Ruby Lal and Journalist Gail O’Neill for a virtual conversation in celebration of Ruby Lal’s Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan, now in a new paperback edition!

Date: May 5, 2020 - May 5, 2020
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Virtual - via Charis Books and Crowdcast

The Forgotten Empress

A dynamic dance drama based on the life of the Mughal Empress Noor Jahan

flyerRUBY LAL, acclaimed historian of India and author of biography Empress: Reign of Nur Jahan will give a pre show talk at both performances, with book sales and signings to follow.

Date: March 5, 2020 - March 7, 2020
7:30 pm

Z Space
450 Florida Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

The Annual Conference on British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies

Featured Speaker

Date: February 22, 2020
1:45 pm

DeSoto Hilton
Savannah, GA

The Lunch Colloquium

Nur Jahan, Lady Emperor of India

Date: December 10, 2019
11:30 am - 1:00 pm

130 Luce Center
825 Houston Mill Rd. NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Excavating The Past: Writing International Histories - Conversation 1004 - REQUIRES TICKET

Between the covers of these writers’ latest histories, you can travel from 1600s Persia, to the Industrial Revolution in the U.K., to the Wild West borderlands between America and Mexico in the 1850s. Join  Ruby Lal, Scott Martelle and Priya Satia for a conversation about researching and writing their epic histories.


Book Prizes

Date: April 13, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

University of Southern California

Distinguished Lecture in Women and Gender Studies

The first annual Distinguished Lecture in Women and Gender Studies, The American University in Beirut.

Isn’t this Representation? The Question of the Archive and the Great Woman Mughal, Nur Jahan.

Date: March 14, 2019
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

The American University
Beirut, Lebanon

Empress: Ruby Lal in Conversation with Jean Said Makdisi

Public Discussion Hosted by American University Beirut,  Women & Gender Studies and Aaliya’s Books

Date: March 12, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Aaliya's Books
Beirut, Lebanon

The Toronto Launch of Empress

Presented by Another Story Bookshop

Featuring a reading by Ruby Lal and conversation with Devyani Saltzman


Date: February 16, 2019
5:00 pm

Another Story Bookshop
315 Roncesvalles Ave
Toronto, ON M6R 2M6

Event Image


Empress: Nur Jahan and the Women of the Mughal Empire

January 25th, 2019
Empress: Nur Jahan and the Women of the Mughal Empire

Ira Mukhoty and Ruby Lal in conversation with Parvati Sharma

‘In 1611, 34-year-old Nur Jahan, daughter of a Persian noble and widow of a subversive official, became the 20th and favourite wife of the Emperor Jahangir who ruled the Mughal Empire. An astute politician as well as a devoted partner, she issued imperial orders and coins of the realm bore her name. When Jahangir was imprisoned by a rebellious nobleman, the Empress led troops into battle and rescued him. The only woman to acquire the stature of empress in her male-dominated world, Nur was also a talented dress designer and innovative architect whose work inspired her stepson’s Taj Mahal. Her confident assertion of talent and power is revelatory and far exceeded the authority of her female contemporaries, including Elizabeth I. In Ruby Lal’s acclaimed biography, she finally receives her due in a deeply researched study. Here Lal discusses Nur Jahan and the other surprisingly powerful women of the Mughal Empire with Ira Mukhoty, author of Daughters of the Sun: Empresses, Queens and Begums of the Mughal Empire, in a discussion chaired by Parvati Sharma, author of the remarkable new biography Jehangir.’

January 25th, 2019
In Defence of History

Dan Jones, Richard Evans, Ruby Lal, Sanjeev Sanyal and Stewart Gordon in conversation with David Olusoga

‘In this session, Sir Richard Evans, formerly Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, offers a defence of the importance of his craft. At a time of deep scepticism about our ability to learn anything from the past, Evans shows us why history is both possible and necessary. His demolition of the wilder claims of postmodern historians, who deny the possibility of any realistic grasp of history, is witty and well-balanced. He takes us into the historians’ workshop to show us just how good history gets written and explains the deadly political dangers of losing a historical perspective on the way we live our lives. Evans discusses his craft with historians Dan Jones, Ruby Lal, Sanjeev Sanyal and Stewart Gordon in a conversation moderated by David Olusoga’

January 26th, 2019
Delhi to the Deccan: On the Mughals and the Marathas

Audrey Truschke, Manu Pillai, Parvati Sharma, Rana Safvi and Ruby Lal in conversation with William Dalrymple

‘There has recently a renaissance in the writing of Mughal and Maratha history and a spectacular outpouring of books that have brought early modern India to vivid new life. Five of the most celebrated practitioners talk about their work in conversation with William Dalrymple.’

Date: January 25, 2019 - January 26, 2019

Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Penguin invites you to a discussion with Ruby Lal (author of Empress) and William Dalrymple (historian, broadcaster, and critic)

Date: January 14, 2019
6:30 pm

India International Center
Seminar Hall 1 & 2
New Delhi


Letters and Politics

Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

A conversation about the Reign of Nur Jahan over the Islamic Mughal Empire in the seventeenth century and the role of women leaders throughout history with guest Ruby Lal.

Date: December 20, 2018
10:00 am

94.1 KPFA

Sunday Brunch

Weekend Read

Date: October 21, 2018


Zee Jaipur Literature Festival


September 22nd
Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan
Ruby Lal in conversation with William Dalrymple
Four centuries ago, a woman ruled the Mughal Empire. Her multifaceted personality was both celebrated and reviled for her political acumen and diplomatic skill. She led troops, issued imperial orders, and had coins of the realm in her name. Acclaimed historian Ruby Lal, in conversation with William Dalrymple, brings to life the complex personality of a woman ahead of her times.

September 22nd
The Biographer’s Ball
Ruby Lal, Maya Jasanoff, Simon Winchester and Wade Davis in conversation with William Dalrymple
How do you research and write someone else’s life and pin that life to the page? Biographers of figures as diverse as Nur Jehan, Joseph Conrad, George Mallory, Joseph Needham and W.C. Minor discuss techniques and obsessions with William Dalrymple.

Date: September 21, 2018 - September 23, 2018

Boulder Public Library
1001 Arapahoe Avenue
Boulder, Colorado 80302

Empress Book Discussion

Date: September 18, 2018
4:15 pm

Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry - Emory University
1635 N Decatur Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30322

Empress Lecture and Book Signing

Date: September 13, 2018
7:00 pm

Michael C. Carlos Museum - Emory University
571 South Kilgo Circle
Atlanta, Georgia 30322

Decatur Books Festival: Empress Lecture

Date: August 31, 2018 - September 2, 2018

DeKalb History Center
101 E Court Square
Decatur, Georgia 30030

The Ring Lake Carillon

Empress Book Discussion (part of residency lectures)

Date: August 12, 2018 - August 18, 2018

Lecture and Book Signing

Q&A with Lois Reitzes, Host, City Lights, 90.1 FM WABE Atlanta

Date: August 2, 2018
7:00 pm

The Carter Center - Presidential Library and Museum
453 Freedom Parkway
Atlanta, Georgia 30307

Carter Center

Asian American Writers’ Workshop

New Books by Asian Writers

Lecture and discussion

Date: July 18, 2018

Asian American Writers’ Workshop
112 W. 27th St #600
New York, New York 10001

An Evening with Ruby Lal

Date: July 18, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Midtown Scholar Bookstore
1302 North Third Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

A Conversation on Empress

A Conversation on Empress and Q&A with Sarada Peri, speechwriter and communications strategist, senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama

Date: July 15, 2018
3:00 pm

Politics and Prose
5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008

Conversation with Somini Sengupta

Ruby Lal in conversation with Somini Sengupta, author of THE END OF KARMA

Date: July 12, 2018
7:30 pm

Prospect Lefferts Gardens
632 Flatbush Avenue (at Fenimore)
Brooklyn, New York 11225

City Lights: Ruby Lal’s “Empress”

Hosted by Lois Reizes

Historian Ruby Lal chats about her new book “Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan.”

Date: July 2, 2018
1:01 pm

Atlanta, Georgia

The Loft Forum