Dr David Lunn

Key information

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies Member
BA (Cantab); MA, PhD (London)
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address
Telephone number
020 7898 4294
Support hours
Tuesdays 10.30–12.00, or by appointment


David received his PhD from SOAS in 2012, following an MA from SOAS and BA from Clare College, University of Cambridge. He then joined the European Research Council project Musical Transitions to European Colonialism in the Eastern Indian Ocean, based at King's College London and led by Dr Katherine Butler Schofield. He returned to SOAS in 2015 as the Simon Digby Postdoctoral Fellow, commissioned to edit the published and unpublished works of the late Simon Digby, and prepare these for a new collected works series of this renowned scholar’s many significant writings. These are forthcoming from Oxford University Press (New Delhi) in ten volumes.

Elements of his doctoral research on Hindi, Urdu, and the politics of language in early twentieth-century India have been published in Bioscope and Modern Asian Studies. His time on the Musical Transitions project has resulted in published collaborations on a previously neglected Malay sha’ir, chronicling the Muharram commemorations in Singapore in 1864, and on the poetry and song of the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II viewed through the prism of emotions and conceptual history. Most recently, David has begun a project on the Indo-Irish writer and satirist Aubrey Menen, and his first publication on that now little-remembered author appeared in the 2019 volume ‘Queer’ Asia: Decolonising and Reimagining Sexuality and Gender.

David acts as the SOAS Academic Staff Liaison for the Queer Asia network and conference.

Research interests

David is particularly interested in literary and cultural production in Hindi-Urdu, including cinema and theatre as well as poetry and prose, especially in the early 20th century. He also works on 19th-century cultural and intellectual transformations in India and the Malay world.


Contact David