SOAS University of London

South Asia Department

South Asia Department Staff

Head of Department

Dr Ben Murtagh

Personal Advisors

Year 1-  Please note all Year 1 UG students have been allocated an individual personal advisor

Year 2-  Mr Naresh Sharma

Years 3/4 - Prof Rachel Dwyer

Undergraduate Admissions Tutor

Prof Justin Watkins

Undergraduate Programme Convenors

Dr James Mallinson (BA South Asian Studies, BA South Asian Studies and...)

Dr James Mallinson (BA Sanskrit and...)

Dr Francesca Orsini (BA Bengali and...)

Dr Francesca Orsini (BA Hindi and...)

Prof Michael Hutt (BA Nepali and...)

Dr Stefanie Lotter (BA Nepali and...)

Dr John Stevens (BA Bengali and...)

Dr Naresh Sharma (BA South Asian Studies - Hindi pathway)

Dr Naresh Sharma (BA South Asian Studies - Urdu pathway)

Postgraduate Programme Convenors

Dr Francesca Orsini (MA Languages and Cultures of South Asia)

Dr Francesca Orsini (MA South Asian Area Studies)

Dr Amina Yaqin (MA in the Study of Contemporary Pakistan)

Research Tutor

Dr Rachel Dwyer

Please note that for Masters Students the Admissions Tutor and Personal Tutor is the Postgraduate Programme Convenor.

Academic Staff

James Caron
Lecturer in Islamicate South Asia
Staff Silhouette

Islam in South Asia; Afghanistan and Pakistan; Indo-Persianate sociocultural history; transnational non-Western history; activism and social movements.

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4295
  • Email:
  • Room: 468
  • On Sabbatical:On leave, Terms 1 and 2 (2015-16)
Rachel Dwyer
Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema
Rachel Dwyer
Hindi Cinema; Indian popular culture; Indian film; Hinduism; new middle classes; Mumbai/Bombay; Gujarati language and literature; Gujarati diaspora esp UK and East Africa; comparative Indian literature.
  • Tel: 020 7898 4294
  • Email:
  • Room: 457
  • Office Hours: Please e-mail for an appointment

Michael J Hutt
Professor of Nepali and Himalayan Studies
Michael Hutt
Nepali literature; the Nepali media; Nepali politics; Bhutanese refugees.
  • Tel: 020 7898 4286
  • Email:
  • Room: B400
  • Office Hours: Email for an appointment
James Mallinson
Lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Studies
James Mallinson
  • Tel: 020 7898 4368
  • Email:
  • Room: 458
  • On Sabbatical:On Research Leave 2015-2020

Francesca Orsini
Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature
Francesca Orsini
Hindi Literature; North Indian literary cultures; Hindi; Urdu.
  • Tel: + 44(0)20 7898 4242
  • Email:
  • Room: 419
  • Office Hours: Mondays 1-3pm
Amina Yaqin
Senior Lecturer in Urdu and Postcolonial Studies
Amina Yaqin
Urdu language and literature; post-colonial literature and theory; gender studies; South Asian literatures in English; feminism in a Third World context; gender and politics in Pakistan
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4305
  • Email:
  • Room: 470
  • Office Hours: Wednesday & Friday: 2-3pm

Senior Lectors

Krishna Pradhan
Senior Lector in Nepali
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Nepali Language
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4297
  • Email:
  • Room: 460
  • Office Hours: Mondays 11:00 - 13:00

Teaching Fellows

Stefanie Lotter
Teaching Fellow
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Nepali society and culture; museology; social and cultural anthropology of the Himalaya; elite studies; heritage studies

David Lunn
Simon Digby Postdoctoral Fellow
David Lunn

19th and 20th century Hindi and Urdu literature; cinema; music; journalism; north Indian literary history; intellectual history; literary translation.

John Stevens
Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow
John Stevens

The interconnected histories of modern West Bengal, Bangladesh and Britain; comparative religion and political theology in India and Britain; postcolonial theory; the historical construction of gender, race, class and nation; social, cultural and transnational history. He is a regular visitor to India and Bangladesh for research purposes.

Research Associates

Louise Harrington
Research Associate
Louise Harrington

Comparative partitions; South Asian literature and film; Irish literature and film; colonial and postcolonial studies; transnational migration and diaspora studies.

Mara Malagodi
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Mara Malagodi

South Asian laws and politics, especially Nepal, India and Pakistan; comparative constitutional law; law and conflict; human rights

Vayu Naidu
Research Associate
Vayu Naidu

Historical research methods for fiction and creating text from crossing borders with oral traditions. Science and myths.

William Radice
Research Associate
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Bengali language and literature; Tagore; Michael Madhusudan Dutt; 19th century Bengal; literary translation; poetry in Bangladesh.

Renate Söhnen-Thieme
Research Associate
Renate Sohnen Thieme
Sanskrit language and literature; classical Indian religions; folklore and music of Baltistan
Hanne-Ruth Thompson
Research Associate
Hanne-Ruth Thompson

Structural and descriptive linguistics, syntax, semantics, Bengali grammar and lexicography, philosophy of language

Emeritus Professors

Christopher Shackle
Emeritus Professor of the Modern Languages of South Asia
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Punjabi and Urdu languages and literatures; regional languages of Pakistan and North-West India; Sufism and Islam in South Asia; Sikhism and its scriptures; comparative literature of the Islamic world.

Research Fellows

Jason Birch
Postdoctoral Researcher, ERC-Funded Hatha Yoga Project
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Mark Singleton
Senior Research Fellow, ERC-Funded Hatha Yoga Project
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