Directory of South and Southeast Asianists in Cambridge

Sir Nicholas Barrington, KCMG, CVO, Honorary Fellow of Clare College. Retired British career diplomat, his last post being British High Commissioner, Pakistan, 1987-1994. Trustee of the Ancient India and Iran Trust, 1992-present. After retirement has helped the Society build bridges between the UK and Asia, including acting as chairman of the Pakistan Society and raising money for Islamic studies at Cambridge University. In October 2017 he organised a two-day symposium of the history of Lahore. He has published two books of memoirs: Envoy : a diplomatic journey (Radcliffe Press, 2014) and Nicholas meets Barrington : the personal journey of a former diplomat (Radcliffe Press, 2014).

Dr Ankur Barua, Lecturer in Hindu Studies, Faculty of Divinity. Research interests: classical and modern Vedanta, the conceptual intersections between Hinduism and science, Indian Christian theology, Rabindranath Tagore

Professor Susan Bayly: Professor Emerita of Historical Anthropology, 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 in Vietnam and India, and beyond.

Dr Patrick Clibbens is an Affiliate Teacher at the Centre of South Asian Studies and College Lecturer and Fellow at Churchill College.  Research interests include South Asian politics and history, public opinion, social policy, history of political though and diaspora politics.

Dr Camille Cole, Junior Research Fellow, Jesus College. Research interests include histories of law, capitalism and empire in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.

Dr Timothy Cooper, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Social Anthropology. Cooper is an anthropologist of religion and media with a regional focus on contemporary Pakistan. By deploying research methodologies that incorporate film and sound elicitation and taking a theoretical approach sensitive to local ontologies, his work interrogates the relationship between affect, secularity, and religious diversity.

Dr Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitiz, Research Fellow at Clare Hall. Research interests: Global Intellectual History, with a concentration on Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Her first book is on “peripheral” Pan-Asianism and the Philippine Revolution, and is forthcoming with Columbia University Press in 2020. Her current work focuses on intellectual-environmental history as it relates to class in the Philippines over the 19th and 20th centuries.

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 Michael Edwards, Smuts Research Fellow at the Centre of South Asian Studies, 2020-23. Research interests include: Burma/Myanmar; anthropology of religion; pluralism; democracy; translation; media; publics; salvation; time; Christianity; Buddhism

Dr Shailaja Fennell, Reader in Regional Transformation and Economic Security, Department of Land Economy:  her research interests include institutional reform and collective action, food production and rural development; gender norms and gender gaps in development interventions, and provision of public goods and the role of partnerships.

Dr Andrew Francis. Following a career in commerce, gained his Ph.D in English from Cambridge in 2010 and also studied Dutch and Indonesian. He has published “Culture and Commerce in Conrad’s Asian Fiction” (CUP, 2015), a multi-disciplinary study of the novelist Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), and various articles and chapters, often linked to colonial studies. Supervises undergraduates for the English Tripos. Research interests also include Dutch colonial literature, south-east Asian history, finance and commerce in literature, and Modernism.

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

Dr Vivek Gupta, Postdoctoral Associate in Islamic Art, Centre of Islamic Studies and Jesus College (2020-2023). Vivek is a historian of Islamic and South Asian art and architecture (1200–present). His research addresses arts of the book, vernacular aesthetics, and histories of affect and experience.

Dr Iza Hussin, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies and Mohamed Noah Fellow, Pembroke College. World history faculty group: research interests include Islamic law, colonialism and religion and politics in South and Southeast Asia; law in circulation between the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia; contemporary political culture in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

Dr Asiya Islam, Junior Research Fellow at Newnham College. A sociologist interested in gender, class, and labour.  Dr Islam is working on her monograph as well as a new project on the future of work, technology, and gender.

Dr Sriya Iyer, Reader in Economics at the Faculty of Economics; and a Bibby Fellow and College Lecturer in Economics at St. Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge. She works on the economics of religion, demography, education and development economics. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics and Culture, and is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Labor Economics (IZA). She has published two books on Demography and Religion in India (Oxford University Press, 2002) and The Economics of Religion in India (Harvard University Press, 2018); as well as articles in a range of journals including the Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economics and Statistics, and the Journal of Development Economics. She was awarded a University of Cambridge Pilkington Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2014.

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.

Taushif Kara, Research Fellow, Cambridge Centre of Islamic Studies: Research interests include global Islam; the intellectual history of the Indian Ocean world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; Indian and Muslim political thought; anti-colonial nationalism; histories of knowledge; and, the relationship of architecture to ideas. His current project is an intellectual history of ‘Islamic Studies’ as a disciplinary formation.

Professor James Laidlaw, William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology, and Head of Department of Social Anthropology. Research interests include the anthropology of ethics; the anthropology of religion and ritual; Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Current ethnographic research: the humanistic Buddhism of the global reformist movement, Foguangshan.

Dr Tomas Larsson, Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics and International Studies, and Fellow, St John’s College: research interests include the politics of Thailand, the political economy of development in Southeast Asia, and Buddhism and politics in mainland Southeast Asia.

Dr Stephanie Mawson, a Research Fellow at St. John’s College is a historian of early modern maritime Southeast Asia and the Pacific. After completing her PhD on the limitations of empire in the seventeenth century Philippines, her postdoctoral work will encompass the eastern parts of today’s Indonesian archipelago, stretching from Borneo in the west to Papua New Guinea in the east and incorporating the islands of the Moluccas, Celebes, Sulu, and Banda Seas. Her work utilises the approaches of ethnohistory, labour history, and historical geography.

Dr Perveez Mody, Senior University Lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology and Fellow, King’s College: research interests include the anthropology of caste and community relations in South Asia; legal anthropology and the Special Marriage Act, love-marriage, kinship, marriage, gender and sexuality; the anthropology of care, “forced-marriage”, social movements.

Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes is a Guest Lecturer in Digital and New Media Anthropology at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Fellow and Tutor at Clare Hall, and member of the Cambridge Digital Humanities Network. She is a visual and digital humanities scholar working on British imperial studies, theories of media, and issues of racial and gender identities. Her current research and teaching centres on new theoretical models drawing on visual culture, cognitive psychology, and postcolonial studies.

Dr Kamal Munir, Reader in Strategy & Policy, Head of the Strategy & International Business subject group at the Judge Business School; Acting Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies: 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 Tejas Parasher, Junior Research Fellow, King’s College. Research interests: modern Indian history, c. 1857-1950; history of political thought; economic thought of Indian nationalist movement; global intellectual history.

Dr Norbert Peabody, Affiliated Scholar at the Centre of South Asian Studies:  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, Reader 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 Luna Sabastian, Smuts Research Fellow at the Centre of South Asian Studies, 2019-22: Research interests include late nineteenth and twentieth-century Indian intellectual history and political thought; anti-colonial nationalism; Hindutva; global fascism; political modernity and violence; themes of race and caste.

Dr Andrew Sanchez, Lecturer in Social Anthropology and Fellow of Trinity Hall: Research interests include: Capitalism, Class, Corruption, Economy, India, Industry, Organised Crime, Urban Anthropology, Work and Labour

Dr Saumya Saxena, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of History: research interests include legal history, gender, law, politics in South Asia. Her research focuses on family law and religion in India in twentieth and twenty-first century India.

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.

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 Thomas Simpson, Research Fellow at Gonville and Caius College: research interests include: frontier regions of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia; the colonial state and violence in British India; the history of field sciences, especially anthropology and cartography; and the historical geography of upland spaces.

Dr Charu Singh, Adrian Research Fellow, Darwin College: Dr. Singh is a historian of modern South Asia, with a special focus on histories of knowledge and science. She is currently working on a history of the translation of western scientific knowledge into Hindi in colonial north India.

Professor Sujit Sivasundaram, Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies, Professor of World History in the Faculty of History and Fellow of Gonville and Caius College: Professor 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.

Dr Christina Skott, Fellow Commoner and Director of Studies in History, Magdalene College; Affiliated Lecturer, Faculty of History: research interests include European colonialism in the Malay world, environment and agriculture in Southeast Asia.

Dr Amar Sohal, Early-Career Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College. An intellectual historian of modern India and Pakistan, he is currently revising his DPhil dissertation for a monograph. Examining the political thought of three eminent Indian Muslim nationalists of the twentieth century—Abul Kalam Azad, Sheikh Abdullah, and Abdul Ghaffar Khan—it argues for the presence of a distinct Muslim secularity within the grander intellectual family of secular Indian nationalism. His next project explores how a set of modern Hindu nationalists engaged in fraught experiments with conservatism, secularism, and ideas of Pakistan

Dr Nazmul S. Sultan, Junior Research Fellow, Christ’s College. Research interests include the history of political thought, popular sovereignty, empire and international thought, and modern South Asian history.