SOAS University of London

School of History, Religions and Philosophies

History, Religions and Philosophies Staff

Head of the School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Professor Ulrich Pagel

Deputy Head of the School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Professor Michael W. Charney

Learning & Teaching Coordinator

Dr Andrea Janku

Research Coordinator

Professor Catherine Hezser

Andrea Janku
Learning & Teaching Coordinator
Andrea Janku

China, Social and Cultural History; The Early Press and the History of Communication; Environmental History

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4636
  • Email: aj7@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 316
  • Academic Support Hours: Wednesdays 10-12am and by appointment
Catherine Hezser
Research Coordinator
Catherine Hezser

Judaism in Hellenistic and Roman times; rabbinic literature; social history of Jews in late antiquity; American Jewish history and literature, Jewish identity, gender studies

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4633
  • Email: ch12@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 335
  • Academic Support Hours: Tues 11-12 & Thurs 11-12 & by email appointment

Ulrich Pagel
Head of School
Ulrich Pagel

History of Buddhism in Tibet, Mahāyāna Buddhism, Kanjur Studies, Vinaya, Religions of Central Asia, Tibetan, Sanskrit. 

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4782
  • Email: up1@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: Room 343
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 3:00-5:00 p.m

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

James Caron
Lecturer in Islamicate South Asia
James Caron

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: jc84@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 468
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays 3-5 p.m
Michael W. Charney
Professor of Asian and Military History
Michael Charney
The history of Buddhist societies in South and Southeast Asia and of culture, technology, and warfare in colonial Africa and Asia
  • Tel: 020 7898 4612
  • Email: mc62@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 322
  • Academic Support Hours: Monday 3 - 5pm

William Gervase Clarence-Smith
Professor of the Economic History of Asia and Africa
William Gervase Clarence-Smith
History of Islam, sexuality, diasporas, slavery, stimulants, rubber, livestock and textiles, with special reference to Maritime South East Asia
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4608
  • Email: wc2@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 313
  • Academic Support Hours: Thursdays 11-1
Wayne Dooling
Senior Lecturer in the History of Southern Africa
Wayne Dooling
Early colonial South African history; slavery and emancipation in the Cape Colony
  • Tel: 020 7898 4628
  • Email: wd2@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 300
  • Academic Support Hours: Fridays, 11.00 - 13.00

Roy Fischel
Lecturer in the History of South Asia
Roy Fischel

History of precolonial South Asia, in particular Muslim polities and societies; the Deccan, 1300-1700; South Asia and the early modern Muslim world.

  • Tel: 020 7898 4643
  • Email: rf26@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 326
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays, 2.00pm-4.00pm
Andrew R George
Professor of Babylonian
Andrew George
Cuneiform and Ancient Mesopotamian studies
  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4335
  • Email: ag5@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 414
  • Academic Support Hours: On research leave 2018-2021

Andrea Janku
Senior Lecturer in the History of China
Andrea Janku

China, Social and Cultural History; The Early Press and the History of Communication; Environmental History

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4636
  • Email: aj7@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 316
  • Academic Support Hours: Wednesdays 10-12am and by appointment
Ceyda Karamursel
Lecturer in the Department of History
CEYDA KARAMURSEL

Lecturer in the Department of History

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4602
  • Email: ck17@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 324
  • Academic Support Hours: Wednesday 1:00pm - 3:00pm or by appointment

Lars Laamann
Senior Lecturer in the History of China
Lars Laamann

Popular religions in early modern China (16th-20th cc); Christianity in china (18th-20th cc); Opium and other narcotics (18th-20th cc); Manchu history (16th-20th cc)

  • Tel: 020 7898 4634
  • Email: ll10@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 323
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10am-12pm
Angus Lockyer
Lecturer in the History of Japan
Angus Lockyer
Modernisation and modernity in Japan; world’s fairs, international and industrial exhibitions
  • Tel: 020 7898 4626
  • Email: al21@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 318
  • Academic Support Hours: Bookable at https://goo.gl/U30hFW and by apptmt.

Derek Mancini-Lander
Lecturer in the History of Iran
DEREK MANCINI-LANDER

Cultural and social history of the late medieval and early modern Persianate world; urban and local history in Iran; space, memory, and narrative in Persian historiography; shrine-centered religiosity; Safavid history

  • Tel: 020 7898 4609
  • Email: dm40@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 311
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays, 3.15-4.45pm
Eleanor Newbigin
Senior Lecturer in the History of Modern South Asia
Eleanor Newbigin

History of modern South Asia, particularly the transition to independence; gender, family and law in colonial and post-colonial India

  • Tel: 020 7898 4625
  • Email: en2@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 307
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays from 2-4pm and by appointment

John Parker
Senior Lecturer in the History of Africa
John Parker
Early modern and modern West African history, especially social and political history of Ghana
  • Tel: 020 7898 4635
  • Email: jp23@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 305
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 10am-12pm
Marie Rodet
Senior Lecturer in the History of Africa
Marie Rodet

Modern West African history, especially social and gender history of Western Mali, history of West African slavery and emancipation.

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4606
  • Email: mr28@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 309
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesday, 11am-1pm

Mandy Sadan
Reader in the History of South East Asia
Mandy Sadan

Ethnicity and conflict in mainland South East Asia, cultural production, non-national histories of Eastern Himalayas and South East Asian Massif and the South, South East and East Asian borderworlds of Burma

  • Tel: 020 7898 4622
  • Email: ms114@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 302
  • Academic Support Hours: By email appointment
Ayman Shihadeh
Reader in Arabic Intellectual History
Ayman Shihadeh

Medieval Arabic Intellectual History; medieval Arabic philosophy; medieval Islamic theology, especially kalam; ethical theory; the Islamic manuscript tradition.

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4343
  • Email: a.shihadeh@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 320
  • Academic Support Hours: Monday, 3.00-4.00, or by appointment

Gurharpal Singh
Professor of Sikh and Punjab Studies
Gurharpal Singh
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4108
  • Email: gs41@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 310
  • Academic Support Hours: On research leave 2018-19
Shabnum Tejani
Senior Lecturer in the History of Modern South Asia
Shabnum Tejani

Nineteenth and twentieth century social and intellectual history, particularly of the Bombay Presidency; communalism and nationalism in India; debates around secularism and religious intolerance

  • Tel: 020 7898 4613
  • Email: st40@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 314
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 3-5pm

Mark Weeden
Senior Lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Mark Weeden

Hittite, Akkadian language and literature in Syria

  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4328
  • Email: mw41@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 304
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 11-12 and Fridays 1-2pm

Teaching Fellows/Graduate Teaching Assistants

George Lane
Senior Teaching Fellow in the History of the Middle East and Central Asia
George Lane
Current research concerns the presence of Persians in Yuan (Mongol) China. Teaching concentrates on Mediaeval Persia. Involved in IFCELS with the Lord Chancellor's programme for Chinese Lawyers since the early 90s as well as pre-sessionals and ELAS.
  • Tel: 020 7898 4285
  • Email: gl1@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 303
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays &Thursdays 1.30-2.30pm or by appointment

Marina Pyrovolaki
Senior Teaching Fellow
Marina Pyrovolaki

Arabic Historiography (Popular/Scholarly), Crusades, Arab-Byzantine Relations, Early Islamic History.

  • Email: mp52@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 306
  • Academic Support Hours: Fridays from 5pm-6pm or by appointment


Research Associates




Marisa Candotti
Research Associate
Staff Silhouette

I am an economic historian specialised in West Africa, with a particular research focus on trans-Saharan trade and the local patterns of trade and production in the Hausa speaking area of Northern Nigeria. My current research explores the influence of pre-colonial institutions on the development of the local economy, and its implications for textile production and trade in a global perspective.





Yi Li
Teaching Fellow/Programme Development Manager in Online and Distance Learning
LI Yi

South East Asia and China, Colonial and Imperial History, History of Migration, Overseas Chinese Network


Raquel A.G. Reyes
Research Associate
Raquel Reyes
History of science and medicine; gender, sexuality, and the senses; social and cultural impact of early modern global trade in Southeast Asia with particular reference to the Philippines.



Postdoctoral Fellows

Emeritus Staff

T H Barrett
T H Barrett
History of Chinese religion, notably Taoism and Buddhism; pre-modern Chinese history, especially the Tang period

Ian Brown
Emeritus Professor
Ian Brown
The modern economic and political history of South East Asia; the economic impact of the inter-war depression on South East Asia

G R Hawting
Emeritus Professor
Gez Hawting
Pre-modern Islamic and Middle Eastern history; the origins and early development of Islam in the Middle East

Peter Robb
Emeritus Professor
Peter Robb

The history of modern South Asia; early Calcutta, c.1780-1830, Indian agrarian history, especially Bihar and Eastern India.



Administrative Staff


Department of Religions and Philosophies, School of History, Religions and Philosophies

James Caron
Lecturer in Islamicate South Asia
James Caron

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: jc84@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 468
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays 3-5 p.m
Lucia Dolce
Numata Reader in Japanese Buddhism
Lucia Dolce
Japanese religious history, especially the medieval period; Japanese Tantric Buddhism and the esotericisation of religious practice; Millenarian writings and prophecy; Kami-Buddhas associations
  • Tel: 020 7898 4217
  • Email: ld16@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 342
  • Academic Support Hours: Term 2 : Thursdays 3:00-4:00

Peter Flügel
Reader in the Study of Religions
Peter Flügel

Jaina Studies; South Asian History & Culture; Anthropology & Sociology of Religion

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4776
  • Email: pf8@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 341
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 3-4pm
Andrew R George
Professor of Babylonian
Andrew George
Cuneiform and Ancient Mesopotamian studies
  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4335
  • Email: ag5@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 414
  • Academic Support Hours: On research leave 2018-2021

Jörg Haustein
Senior Lecturer in Religions in Africa
Jörg Haustein

Pentecostalism in Africa and worldwide, Christianity in Ethiopia; Christian missions in Africa; Islam in Africa, esp. East Africa; colonialism and religions in Africa, post-colonial and post-structuralist philosophy.

Sian Hawthorne
Lecturer in Critical Theory and the Study of Religions
Sian Hawthorne

Narrativity; Cultural Memory; Religion and Gender; Feminist Historiography; Postcolonial theory; Postsecularism and gender; Intellectual history in the study of religions.

  • Tel: 020 7898 4215
  • Email: sh79@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 337
  • Academic Support Hours: Wednesdays 11am-1pm

Catherine Hezser
Professor of Jewish Studies
Catherine Hezser

Judaism in Hellenistic and Roman times; rabbinic literature; social history of Jews in late antiquity; American Jewish history and literature, Jewish identity, gender studies

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4633
  • Email: ch12@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 335
  • Academic Support Hours: Tues 11-12 & Thurs 11-12 & by email appointment
Almut Hintze
Zartoshty Brothers Professor of Zoroastrianism
Almut Hintze

Professor Hintze takes an interest in all aspects of Zoroastrianism, the religion of pre-Islamic Iran.

  • Tel: 020 7898 4598
  • Email: ah69@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 334
  • Academic Support Hours: Office hours: by appointment

Erica Hunter
Senior Lecturer in Eastern Christianity
Erica Hunter

Eastern Christianity; Syriac Christianity in the Middle East, with particular reference to Iraq; Syriac Christianity in medieval Central Asia and China

  • Tel: 020 7898 4663
  • Email: eh9@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 333
  • Academic Support Hours: On sabbatical 2018-19
Jana Matuszak
Senior Lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Jana Matuszak

Sumerian literature, literary disputations and dialogues, gender in the Ancient Near East

  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4335
  • Email: jm101@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 312
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 11-12 and Fridays 1-2pm

Ulrich Pagel
Professor, Languages and Religions of Tibet and Central Asia
Ulrich Pagel

History of Buddhism in Tibet, Mahāyāna Buddhism, Kanjur Studies, Vinaya, Religions of Central Asia, Tibetan, Sanskrit. 

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4782
  • Email: up1@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: Room 343
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 3:00-5:00 p.m
Antonello Palumbo
Senior Lecturer in the Religions of China
Staff Silhouette

Ideological history of pre-modern China; Chinese religions, notably Taoism and Buddhism; history of the Buddhist canon in China; Manichaeism and Iranian influences in medieval China; Chinese cultural relations with Central Asia

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4768
  • Email: ap47@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 345
  • Academic Support Hours: Fridays 3-5pm - On research leave Term 1, 2018-19


Ayman Shihadeh
Reader in Arabic Intellectual History
Ayman Shihadeh

Medieval Arabic Intellectual History; medieval Arabic philosophy; medieval Islamic theology, especially kalam; ethical theory; the Islamic manuscript tradition.

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4343
  • Email: a.shihadeh@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 320
  • Academic Support Hours: Monday, 3.00-4.00, or by appointment
Gurharpal Singh
Professor of Sikh and Punjab Studies
Gurharpal Singh
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4108
  • Email: gs41@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 310
  • Academic Support Hours: On research leave 2018-19

Sarah Stewart
Shapoorji Pallonji Lecturer in Zoroastrianism
Sarah Stewart

Lecturer in Zoroastrianism, with particular reference to the living tradition in Iran and India.

Mark Weeden
Senior Lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Mark Weeden

Hittite, Akkadian language and literature in Syria

  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4328
  • Email: mw41@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 304
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 11-12 and Fridays 1-2pm

Teaching Fellows/Graduate Teaching Assistants







Post-Doctoral Fellows


Leon Goldman
Postdoctoral Researcher in Avestan Studies
Leon Goldman

Zoroastrianism; Avestan; Sanskrit; Middle Persian (Pahlavi).




Research Associates


Jonardon Ganeri FBA
Professorial Research Associate
Jonardon Ganeri

Cosmopolitan philosophy and cultural cognition; polycentric modernities in Asia and Europe; philosophy in Sanskrit, especially philosophy of mind


John Healey
Professorial Research Associate
John Healey

Syriac-speaking Christianity, especially its earlier history and its emergence from the Aramaic-speaking environment of the Roman/Byzantine Near East; the development of the Syriac scripts and language; early contacts between Syriac Christians and Muslims; other religious minorities in the Middle East (Jews, Mandaeans, Gnostics); the present situation of the Middle East Christians; Syriac liturgy. In addition, Professor Healey has worked extensively in the early alphabet, Hebrew Bible, Nabataea and Palmyra.


D Seyfort Ruegg
Professorial Research Associate
D Seyfort Ruegg

The philosophy of the buddha-nature (tathagatagarbha) and the philosophy of the middle way




Emeritus Staff

T H Barrett
Emeritus Professor
T H Barrett
History of Chinese religion, notably Taoism and Buddhism; pre-modern Chinese history, especially the Tang period

Paul Gifford
Emeritus Professor
Paul Gifford
Christianity; recent developments in African Christianity; the socio-political role of religion in Africa Socio-political role of Christianity in Africa; Africa's new charismatic churches
Tadeusz Skorupski
Emeritus Reader
Tadeusz Skorupski
Buddhist Studies; philosophical and religious doctrines; literature; iconography Buddhist iconography; Buddhist rituals; Buddhist doctrines; Buddhist history

Nicholas Sims-Williams
Emeritus Professor of Iranian and Central Asian Studies
Nicholas Sims-Williams
Iranian and Central Asian philology; Christian and Manichaean texts from Central Asia.
Cosimo Zene
Professor in the Study of Religions and World Philosophies
Cosimo Zene

Anthropology of religion, theory in the study of religions, continental philosophy, Gramsci and religion, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, minorities (Dalits), mysticism and heresy, non-Western Christianities, Mediterranean anthropology; South-Asia (India, Bangladesh), Sardinia, world philosophies.


Administrative Staff