SOAS University of London

School of History, Religions and Philosophies

History, Religions and Philosophies Staff

Head of the School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Prof Ulrich Pagel

Subject Head (History)

Dr Andrea Janku

Subject Head (Religions & Philosophies)

Dr Sian Hawthorne

Learning & Teaching Coordinator

Dr Eleanor Newbigin

Research Coordinator

Dr Mark Weeden

Dr Andrea Janku
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: 318
  • Academic Support Hours: Thursday 2-4pm (during term time)
Professor Catherine Hezser
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: Tuesday 11:00-12:00 / Wedenesday 10:00-11:00

Professor 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 3:30-5:00 p.m

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Dr 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: 316
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays 3-5 p.m
Professor Michael W. Charney
Professor of Asian and Military History
Mike 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: Tuesday 5:00-6:00 pm

Dr 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: 308
  • Academic Support Hours: Thursdays, 10:30 — 12:30.
Dr Roy Fischel
Lecturer in the History of South Asia
UG Research/ISP Tutor (History)
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: Tuesday - 10.00-12.00

Professor 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: 312
  • Academic Support Hours: On research leave 2018-2021
Dr Andrea Janku
Senior Lecturer in the History of China
Subject Head/Representative (History)
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: 318
  • Academic Support Hours: Thursday 2-4pm (during term time)

Dr 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: On Leave 2019-20
Dr 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: Every day except Tuesday-email by appointment

Dr Jana Matuszak
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: Monday and Tuesday 2:00-3:00pm
Dr 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: Monday 11-1pm

Dr 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
Dr 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: On Leave Term 1 - 2019-20

Dr 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: On Research Leave 2019-20

Dr 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
Dr 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: Monday 3-5pm or by appointment


Teaching Fellows/Graduate Teaching Assistants



Research Associates




Dr 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.





Dr 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

Dr 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


Professor 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

Professor 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


Professor 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 | Open to STUDENTS - 10.00-4.00pm


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

Dr 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: 316
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays 3-5 p.m
Dr 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: Thursdays 3:00-4:00

Professor Peter Flügel
Professor of the Study of Religions and Philosophies
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: By appointment only
Professor 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: 312
  • Academic Support Hours: On research leave 2018-2021

Dr Sian Hawthorne
Lecturer in Critical Theory and the Study of Religions
Subject Head/Representative (Religions & Philosophies)
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: Tuesdays 11:00- 1:00pm
Professor 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: Tuesday 11:00-12:00 / Wedenesday 10:00-11:00

Professor 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: 329
  • Academic Support Hours: Academic support hours: by appointment
Dr 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


Professor Ulrich Pagel
Professor, Languages and Religions of Tibet and Central Asia
UG Research/ISP Tutor (Religions & Philosophies)
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 3:30-5:00 p.m
Dr 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: Wednesday 1:00-3:00pm - Term 1


Dr 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: On Research Leave 2019-20

Dr Sarah Stewart
Shapoorji Pallonji Senior Lecturer in Zoroastrianism
Sarah Stewart

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

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4270
  • Email: ss7@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 331
  • Academic Support Hours: Thursday 2:00-4:00 pm
Dr 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: Monday 3-5pm or by appointment

Teaching Fellows/Graduate Teaching Assistants






Post-Doctoral Fellows




Dr Sam Mirelman
British Academy - Postdoctoral Fellow
Sam Mirelman

Music and performance in the ancient Near East, Sumerian liturgical texts, Mesopotamian rituals, Sumerian-Akkadian language contact, Mesopotamian intellectual history

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4283
  • Email: sm106@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 302
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays 1:00-2:00


Research Associates


Professor 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


Professor 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.



Professor 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

Professor 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

Dr Tadeusz Skorupski
Emeritus Reader
Tadeusz Skorupski
Buddhist Studies; philosophical and religious doctrines; literature; iconography Buddhist iconography; Buddhist rituals; Buddhist doctrines; Buddhist history

Professor 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 | Open to STUDENTS - 10.00-4.00pm