Directory of South and Southeast Asianists in Cambridge

Professor Ash Amin, 1931 Chair in Geography at the Department of Geography and Fellow of Christ’s College: recently funded research has included grants from the ESRC on the ethnography of the UK social economy, while policy work has focused on urban cohesion and on racial integration, with independent scholarship focusing on race, cities, and democratic renewal. He is currently working on cultures of calamity, on the contemporary urban condition, and on the rights of the poor.

Dr Edward Anderson, Smuts Research Fellow in Commonwealth Studies at the Centre of South Asian Studies. Research interests: postcolonial Indian history and politics, Hindu nationalism, social movements, migration and diaspora, transnational networks, multiculturalism.

Sir Nicholas Barrington, Honorary Fellow of Clare Hall: Retired British career Diplomat who served twice in Pakistan as First Secretary during the Ayub era. From 1987 to 1994, he was British High Commissioner, his last post. After retirement he has helped build bridges between the UK and Asia, including acting as chairman of the Pakistan Society and raising money for Islamic studies at Cambridge University.

Dr Ankhor Barua, Lecturer in Hindu Studies, Faculty of Divinity: current research Hinduism and Science (an investigation of the claim that the metaphysical foundations of quantum physics can be provided by Vedantic thought), Hinduism and Religious Diversity (an examination of the notions of universalism, tolerance and plurality in the Hindu traditions), and Hinduism and Cosmopolitanism (a study of notions of the Indian nation in Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore and C.F. Andrews).

Professor Susan Bayly: Reader in Historical Anthropology at the Department of Social Anthropology and Fellow of Christ’s College. Research interests: the study of modernity and achievement; globalisation; theories of historical change; the disciplinary interface between history and anthropology; colonialism and its cultural afterlife.

Dr Anjali Bhardwaj-Datta,  Affiliated Scholar, Centre of South Asian Studies; Leverhulme Early Career Fellow.  After completing her PhD on gender and urban space in post colonial Delhi, she is currently working on her book monograph, along with a new project on women’s informalities and patterns of urban change in modern South Asia.

Professor Raj Brown, Affiliated Scholar at the Centre of South Asian Studies, Emeritus Professor of International Business, Royal Holloway, University of London: current research includes Islamic Finance, contrasting Shia financial institutions in Bahrain with Asian Shias.

Dr Ha-Joon Chang, Reader at the Faculty of Economics: his research interests include role of the state in economic change; industrial policy and technology policy; privatisation and regulation; theories of institutions and morality; the East Asian economies; corporate governance.

Professor Joya Chatterji, Reader in the History of Modern South Asia in the Faculty of History and Fellow of Trinity College; Director, Centre of South Asian Studies: research interests include India’s partition, borders, refugees, citizenship in South Asia, migration and diaspora.

Dr Shinjini Das, a Bible and Antiquity Postdoctoral Research Fellow at CRASSH: her research traces the process of Bible’s vernacularisation by locating it within the complex histories of colonial governance, imperial ideologies, Hindu reform agendas, bhadralok revivalist politics, exigencies of colonial publishing industry as well as the nationalist aspirations of the colonized.

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics and and Fellow of St John’s College: research interests include economics of poverty and nutrition. Environmental economics. Economic measurement. Economics of knowledge.

Dr Leigh Denault, Faculty of History and Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Churchill College: Research interests include South Asian history, comparative colonial history and historiography.

Dr Manali Desai, Lecturer in Sociology at the Department of Sociology: Dr Desai’s current research is funded by a Leverhulme Research Project Grant (2011-13) titled “Beyond Identity? Markets and Logics of Democratization in India, 1991-Present.” This project examines the different logics of democratization that have emerged during the period of market reforms and neoliberalization in India.

Dr Arthur Dudney, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies: Dr Dudney’s current project, “Making Persianate People”, considers Persian-language education in Mughal and Colonial South Asia. His research also addresses Urdu literary culture with a particular interest in the socio-political aspects of literary criticism.

Dr Shailaja Fennell, Lecturer in Development Studies attached to the Department of Land Economy and Fellow of Jesus College: her main research interests are institutional reform; gender and household dynamics; kinship and ethnicity; comparative economic development; education provision and partnerships.

Dr Andrew Francis: Dr. Andrew Francis graduated in English from the University of Cambridge, gaining his Ph.D there in 2010, a multi-disciplinary study of Joseph Conrad’s Asian fiction and commerce. An elected member of The Joseph Conrad Society Committee (UK), he teaches at the Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge and supervises undergraduates in English literature for Cambridge Colleges. His other interests include Dutch colonial literature, finance and commerce in literature, and the modern and nineteenth-century periods of English literature, especially Modernism and colonial studies.

Dr Priyamvada Gopal, Faculty of English: Dr Gopal’s research interests include colonial and post-colonial literatures in English, modern Indian writing in English and translation and comparative Asian literatures. India links: teaching and research on writers such as Rabindranath Tagore, GV Desani, Salman Rushdie, Rohinton Mistry, Nayantara Sahgal, Arundhati Roy and Amitav Ghosh.

Dr Sudeshna Guha: Affiliated Scholar at the Centre of South Asian Studies, Affiliated Researcher in Indian Studies, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. She specialises in histories of state formation, art and architecture, and political economy.

Dr Antara Haldar, Faculty of Law: Antara Haldar specializes in law and development, law and economics, and legal theory – and she is particularly interested in the area lying at the intersection of the three fields. Her work, which is fundamentally interdisciplinary, is defined by its attempt to cut past the dichotomization between the ‘law and economics’ and ‘law and society’ approaches – as well as to bridge the gap between theory and empirics that characterises much of the current development literature. Her work spans the topics of microfinance and other credit markets, land titling and property rights, the relationship between formal and informal law (including the role of trust) and evolutionary institutional dynamics. She is also interested in research methods and epistemology, as well as issues of race and gender.

Professor Tim Harper, Reader in Southeast Asian and Imperial History, Fellow of Magdalene College: research interests include Modern Southeast Asian history and world history.

Professor Caroline Humphrey: an anthropologist who has worked in Russia, Mongolia, China (Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang), India, Nepal and Ukraine. She has researched a wide range of themes including Soviet and post-Soviet provincial economy and society; Buryat and Daur shamanism; Jain religion and ritual; trade and barter in Nepal; environment and the pastoral economy in Mongolia; and the history and contemporary situation of Buddhism, especially in Inner Mongolia. She has written on inequality and exclusion; the politics of memory; naming practices; ethics and conceptions of freedom. Recent research has concerned urban transformations in post-Socialist cities (Buryatia; Uzbekistan, Ukraine). Currently she is developing a research project on socio-political interactions on the Russian–Mongolian–Chinese border.

Dr Iza Hussin, Lecturer in Asian Politics, University Teaching Officer, Mohamed Noah Fellow, Pembroke College. Research in the areas of comparative politics, Islam and Muslim politics, law and society, and religion and politics. Her book, The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites, Colonial Authority and the Making of the Muslim State (University of Chicago Press 2016), explores the construction of Islamic law in colonial India, Malaya and Egypt. Current research projects include a manuscript on the travels of law across the Indian Ocean arena and a collaborative project on Internet fatwa.

Dr Sriya Iyer: Isaac Newton Trust Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Economics, Director of studies in Economics, St Catharine’s College. Her research interests include development economics, economics of religion, rationality, economic demography.

Dr Gordon Johnson, Director, Centre of South Asian Studies, 1983-2001; President of Wolfson College, 1993-2010, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, 2000-2010: Dr Johnson was Editor of Modern Asian Studies from 1971-2008 and continues as General Editor of The New Cambridge History of India.

Dr Eivind Kahrs, Reader in Sanskrit, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies: Dr Kahrs teaches Sanskrit and Indian religion and philosophy. His interests lie within the field of Indian intellectual history, particularly Sanskrit linguistics and philosophy of language, and Indian religion, including Buddhism. Among his publications is a book on the nirvacana tradition of interpretation, Indian semantic analysis (1998). He is currently working on notions of the selfhood and agency in Mimamsa philosophy. Dr Kahrs also teaches Pali and Prakrit. He is a Fellow of Queens’ College.

Dr Shruti Kapila, Lecturer in the Faculty of History and Fellow of Corpus Christi College: Dr Kapila’s research interests include South Asian History; history of political thought and history of science.

Jeyamalar Kathirithamby-Wells, affiliated to Clare Hall, was Professor of Asian History at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.  Areas of interest: Southeast Asian trade and state formation in the early modern era; environmental and conservation history; problems of resource and environmental sustainability in the context of global trade, corporate investment, and political culture.

Mr Aishwarj Kumar, Language teaching officer in Hindi, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies: research interests include language and literature, Indian culture, cinema and the media.

Dr Harshan Kumarasingham, Affiliated Scholar, Centre of South Asian Studies; Lecturer in British Politics, University of Edinburgh: research interests include Crown’s legacies in post-independent India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth’s influence on South Asia, 1947-72.

Professor Heonik Kwon, Senior Research Fellow and Distinguished Research Professor, Trinity College: Professor Kwon is a highly respected scholar of Vietnam, Korea, cold war and non-alignment.  He is very well connected globally, and is very active in a range of collaborative research projects in South East Asia.

 Professor James Laidlaw, Lecturer and Head of Division of Social Anthropology: research interests include south Asia (India) and east Asia (Taiwan and Inner Mongolia); the interface between anthropological and ethical theory; and religion and ritual; Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, theoretical approaches to religion including cognitive psychology, and contemporary transformations in religions in Asia, including new forms of Buddhist self-formation.

Dr Tomas Larsson, Lecturer in the Department of POLIS and Fellow of St John’s College: Dr Larsson’s principal research interests are in the area of comparative political economy of developing countries. I am particularly interested in the connections between processes of state formation, institutional change, and economic development in Southeast Asia.

Dr Elisabeth Leake, Affiliated Scholar, Centre of South Asian Studies; Lecturer in International History, University of Leeds: research interests include the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in local, regional, and global perspective.

Dr Rachel Leow, University Lecturer in Modern East Asian History and Fellow, Murray Edwards College: research interests include Modern Chinese history; modern Southeast Asian history; inter-Asian connections; world history.

Dr Nayanika Mathur, postdoctoral research fellow on the Leverhulme-funded project Conspiracy and Democracy: History, Political Theory and Internet Research: her research interests are centred upon the study of the state, law, bureaucracy, human-animal conflict, materiality, new technologies, and government with an area interest in India and the Himalaya.

Dr Emma Mawdsley, Reader in Human Geography; Fellow and College Lecturer, Newnham College: research interests include the new politics of foreign aid and development, in the context of the rising powers; contemporary India-Africa relations; Indian politics; urban environmental politics in India.

Dr Perveez Mody, Lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology, Senior Tutor and Fellow, King’s College: research interests include South Asia; marriage, kinship, urban sexuality; theories of caste and community; human rights.

Dr Annamaria Mortsescu-Mayes, Affiliated Scholar at the Centre of South Asian Studies, Fellow and Tutor at Clare Hall: founder of Amateur Cinema Studies Network Ltd. – the first international project promoting amateur cinema studies. principal research interest considers the construction of racial, gender and political identities in colonial visual records and their relevance to current European imperial studies. In addition, I explore new research methodologies by using theories of visual rhetoric in teaching modern South Asian history for the British A-level and Higher Education curricula, and for the Indian National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT, Delhi), the Centre for Women’s Development Studies (Delhi) and Azim Premji University (Bangalore).

Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy, Head of the Strategy & International Business subject group at the Judge Business School: Dr Munir’s research interests include Social and institutional change and stability; technological shifts in society; emergence of new markets; socio-economic changes in South Asia; economic development and competitiveness of developing countries.

Dr Amrita Narlikar, Reader in International Political Economy in the Department of POLIS: her research interests include trade politics, negotiation analysis and rising powers.

Dr Nazia Mintz-Habib, Senior Research Associate, Centre of Development Studies: Dr Mintz-Habib is interested in identifying pathways to improve the global value chain of agricultural commodities to ensure food security. She has studied the political economy of food security and global value chains for the past decade. To better understand food security, Nazia looks at the comparative development of agribusinesses and global commodity value chain expansions in developing economies. She studied cases in Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Malaysia, Tanzania and India. Lately, Nazia is keen to understand institutional system change in the agricultural sector as influenced by new commodities like biofuels and technologies like agrobiotechnology. She is currently authoring a book on biofuels and food security.

Dr Natasha Pairaudeau, Affiliated Scholar at the Centre of South Asian Studies is a historian working primarily on South and Southeast Asia. Her research interests include migration and its role in spurring social and political change, sub-imperial systems, inter-ethnic relations, and the dynamics of citizenship, race and status in colonial systems. Her first book, Mobile Citizens: French Indians in Indochina, 1858-1954, is due to be published by NIAS Press in 2016 and is based on a PhD in history awarded from SOAS in 2009. An affiliated scholar at the Centre for South Asian Studies, she is furthering a study of geopolitical tensions and transnational connections established by the exile to Saigon of the Burmese Prince Myngoon Min and his entourage, with funding from a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant.

Dr Norbert Peabody, Affiliated Scholar at the Centre of South Asian Studies; Senior Research Fellow in Anthropology, Wolfson College: Dr Norbert Peabody is an anthropologist and historian, whose research focuses on Indian nationalism during the 19th and 20th centuries. He currently has two book projects in preparation. The first explores the synergies that developed between the styles of nationalist discourse that were emerging in India and in the UK during the first half of the 19th century. The second concerns how technologies of the body that are deployed during the course of collective, anti-Muslim violence are shaping contemporary ‘Hindu’ nationalism in India.

Dr Cameron Petrie, Senior Lecturer in South Asian and Iranian Archaeology, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology: Dr Petrie has been involved with archaeological research in Pakistan and India since 1998, and is currently investigating the relationship between humans and the environment during the period of the Indus Civilisation, which was first phase of urbanism in the subcontinent.

Dr Anastasia Piliavsky, Research Fellow, King’s College: over the last decade her work has focused on the north Indian state of Rajasthan. Her doctoral work was about a ‘caste of thieves’ known as Kanjars. Since then, she has written on aspects of Indian politics, crime, and secrecy, publishing in Modern Asian Studies, Comparative Studies in Society and History, and Cambridge Anthropology, among other journals. She is a co-Investigator in a collaborative study of democratic cultures and ‘muscular’ politics in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, funded by the British and European Research Councils. She is also the editor of Patronage as Politics in South Asia (CUP, 2014).

Professor Jaideep Prabhu, Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business & Enterprise, Director of the Centre for India & Global Business (CIGB) and Fellow of Jesus College: research interests include International business, marketing, strategy and innovation. Specific interests include: cross-national issues concerning the antecedents and consequences of radical innovation in high-technology contexts such as banking, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; the role of firm culture in driving innovation in firms across nations; how multinational firms organise their innovation activities worldwide; the forces that drive R&D location decisions and the factors that influence the performance implications of these decisions; the internationalisation of firms from emerging markets; and innovation in emerging markets.

Dr Siddharth Saxena, Senior Research Associate, Cavendish Laboratory Adjunct Lecturer, Centre of Development Studies, Chairman, Cambridge Central Asia Forum: his research interests are in the areas of religion and identity, knowledge systems, social and political development and institutional history in Central Asia and the Middle East.

Dr Anil Seal, Fellow of Trinity College, historian of the British empire and Indian nationalism. Founder-Director of the Cambridge Trusts, Dr Seal has, for many years, convened an annual conference of Election Commissioners of the Commonwealth in Cambridge, and currently runs projects and initiatives in mass literacy, health and poverty alleviation in India and Malaysia.

Professor Simon Schaffer, Department of History and Philosophy of Science: Research interests include the history of astronomy, history of physical science; social history of science.

Professor Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate in Economics, Fellow of Trinity College. Honorary Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford, Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University. Professor Sen taught Economics, Philosophy, History and Law at Harvard (as Thomas W. Lamont University Professor), authored An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions (Penguin and Princeton University Press) jointly with Jean Drèze, and published a number of articles in professional journals and in the public media.

Dr Majid Sheikh, Wolfson College Research Associate: his research interests include the history of Lahore, currently researching the history of ancient Punjab.  His 3 books are on Lahore.

Dr Devika Singh, Affiliated Scholar at the Centre of South Asian Studies: her research interests include the writing of Indian art and architectural history, the redeployment of the past in modern Indian thought and artistic practices, the history and reception of modernism in India and more broadly the global reconfiguration of modernism.

Dr Sujit Sivasundaram, Lecturer in World and Imperial History since 1500 in the Faculty of History and Fellow of Gonville and Caius College: Dr Sivasundaram works primarily on the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries in the Indian and Pacific oceans, with a special emphasis on South and South-East Asia and Polynesia.

Professor Janice Stargardt, Affiliated Lecturer, Professorial Research Fellow in Asian Historical Archaeology & Geography, Fellow and Director of Studies at Sidney Sussex College: Dr Stargardt works on the historical geography and archaeology of South and South East Asia.

Dr Vincenzo Vergiani, Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies: his main areas of research are the history of linguistic ideas and the philosophy of language in ancient India, with a focus on the period from the late first millennium BCE to the early second millennium CE. I am also investigating the role grammar – especially (but not exclusively) Pāṇinian grammar – played in the history of the Sanskrit language and the broader socio-political context of classical and medieval South Asia. Tamil grammatical tradition and its relation with Sanskrit grammar, as part of the complex process of acculturation of the Dravidian South that took place from the first millennium CE and brought it into the pan-Indian cultural horizon.

Dr Bhaskar Vira, Reader in the Political Economy of Environment and Development , Department of Geography and Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Director, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute: Dr Vira’s research interests centre on the changing political economy of development, especially in India; and on political ecology, focusing on forests, wildlife and landuse change and the social and political context for biodiversity conservation.

Dr David Washbrook, Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College: Dr Washbrook’s main research interests include the history of South India between the 18th and 20th Century and the history of Indian capitalism.