SOAS University of London

SOAS appoints new Distinguished Research Professors

11 April 2022
Distinguished Professors

In November 2021, SOAS announced the establishment of five new distinguished research professorships aimed at addressing the global challenges of our time, as framed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Following a number of applications, we are pleased to announce that as of today, we have made three appointments and plan to announce three more in the near future. 

We are proud to announce the following colleagues as Distinguished Research Professors: 

Professor Ha-Joon Chang is a South Korean economist, specialising in development economics, political economy, and institutional economics. Professor Chang is the author of several widely discussed policy books, most notably Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective (2002), and a number of bestselling books for the general public, including 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism and Economics: The User's Guide. He has served as a consultant to numerous international agencies, civil society organisations, and national governments. He is a winner of the Wassily Leontief Prize and the Gunnar Myrdal Prize.


Professor Olivette Otele is an historian and an expert on the links between history, memory, and geopolitics in relation to French and British colonial pasts. She is the first Black woman to be appointed to a professorial chair in History in the UK. Olivette has participated in several major research grants looking at the African diaspora and the Atlantic slave trade. She is currently leading a project working with local communities in Bristol to understand how the history of the transatlantic slave-trade is still impacting the population today. She has authored three books, and contributed to several others. Her most recent book is, African Europeans: An Untold History. She is also a prolific media commentator and contributor.


Professor Sanjay Srivastava is an anthropologist and British Academy Global Professor. His research is primarily focused on South Asia, and spans themes of urbanism and urban cultures, consumer cultures, the new-middle classes, masculinities and new cultures of work. He is currently involved in several individual and collaborative research projects, including ‘Imagined Futures: Technology, Urban Planning and their Subjects at the Margins of an Indian Megapolis’. Based on his research, he has provided academic analysis to government bodies and NGOs on topics such as urban planning and gender-related policy making. He has a strong interest in ethnographic film and visual texts, and has translated some of his research into documentary format. His monograph, Masculinity, Consumerism and the Post-national City. Streets, Neighbourhoods, Home will be published in 2022 by Cambridge University Press.

We are excited to welcome them to SOAS and look forward to their valuable contributions.

The establishment of these professorships follows on the adoption of SOAS’ new Strategic Plan which seeks to both reimagine our global partnerships and revitalise our research agenda.

In relation to the SDGs, the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021 - which captures universities’ impact on society, based on institutions’ success in delivering the UN’s SDGs - ranked SOAS in the Top 50 universities in the world and seventh in the UK for the SDG number 1: No Poverty.