SOAS University of London

Centre for the Study of Pakistan

Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River

Alice Albinia
Alice Albinia (Writer) in conversation with Victoria Schofield (MA. Senior member, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Associate, Pakistan Security Research Unit, University of Bradford)

Date: 6 December 2012Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 6 December 2012Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G51

Type of Event: Seminar


One of the longest rivers in the world, the Indus rises in Tibet, flows west across India, and south through Pakistan. For millennia it has been worshipped as a god; for centuries used as a tool of imperial expansion. Today it is the glue of Pakistan's fractious union. Empires of the Indus follows the river upstream and back in time, on a voyage through two thousand miles of geography and five millennia of history, through a landscape where the past still resonates today.

Speaker Biographies

Alice Albinia is the author of Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River (2008) which won a Somerset Maugham Award, the Dolman Travel Prize, the Jerwood/Royal Society of Literature Special Prize for non-fiction and La Toison d’Or du livre d’aventure vécue. She read English Literature at Cambridge University and South Asian history at SOAS, and in between lived for two years in Delhi, working as an editor and journalist with Indian newspapers and magazines. During this time she had the idea to write two books: Empires of the Indus, and her first work of fiction, Leela's Book (2011), which was recently shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award.

Victoria Schofield is a historian and commentator on international affairs, with specialist knowledge of South Asia. Her books include Kashmir in Conflict and Afghan Frontier: at the Crossroads of Conflict.    Schofield is a frequent contributor to BBC World TV, BBC World Service and other news outlets.  She read Modern History at the University of Oxford and was President of the Oxford Union in 1977.  

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