Kate Teltscher
1993 …2020

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Co-Director of the Literature & Culture Research Centre, Roehampton University.

Convener of the BA English Literature Programme, Roehampton University.

Honorary Research Associate, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Prizes & Awards

North Senior Scholarship, St. John's College, Oxford.

Oxford University Frere Exhibition for Indian Studies.

The High Road to China (2006) was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography.


BA Hons. First Class. English & Related Literature, University of York.

D.Phil., University of Oxford.

Research interests

My research research focuses on cultural, commercial, botanic and linguistic exchange between Britain and Asia in the colonial period. I work on travel accounts, colonial writing, botanic gardens and lexicography.

My book, Palace of Palms: Tropical Dreams and the Making of Kew, is published by Picador in July 2020.  It tells the story of Kew's Palm House and the cultural and economic significance of palms in the nineteenth century.

I recently edited Hobson-Jobson: The Definitive Glossary of British India by H. Yule & A.C.Burnell for Oxford World's Classics.

I welcome PhD applicants, especially those interested in writing on India, colonial discourse, botanic gardens and travel writing.

Consultancy work

Television & Radio

Consultant and main contributor to Hobson-Jobson: A Very English Enterprise (BBC Radio 4, 2012). Contributor to documentary features broadcast on Channel 4 (An Indian Affair, 2001), BBC Radio 4 (Crossing the Black Waters 2002, Tibet on the Banks of the Clyde, 2010) and ABC (Late Night Live: The Buddha of Boundless Light meets the Glaswegian, 2006).

External Assessor

Yale University Press, Oxford University Press, Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan, Broadview Press, Journal of Imperial & Commonwealth History, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, Interventions, Studies in Travel Writing, Journal of the History of Ideas.


I teach undergraduate modules on colonial and postcolonial texts, travel writing and the literature of multicultural Britain.

I have taught MA modules on the literature of race and empire and on literary exchanges between India and Britain.


Research projects

My book, Palace of Palms: Tropical Dreams and the Making of Kew, is published in July 2020 by Picador. 


External positions

Honorary Research Associate, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

5 May 20214 May 2024