SOAS University of London

Deputy Director appointed for new SOAS South Asia Institute

30 January 2014
SCI new Deputy Director pic

SOAS, University of London has announced the appointment of Dr Navtej Purewal as Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Indian Studies and Sociology and Deputy Director of the SOAS South Asia Institute.

Dr Purewal’s teaching and research have engaged with a number of areas of the social sciences which cross both spatial and disciplinary boundaries. Her most recent teaching has been in the areas in the sociology of religion and society, and gender and culture in South Asia.

The SOAS South Asia Institute will consolidate SOAS’ research strengths in the region and make SOAS the premier UK institution for the multidisciplinary study of South Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives.

Dr Purewal said: “I look forward to joining the vibrant community of scholars at SOAS, having been a SOAS student in the early 1990s, a time which was one of the most enriching and enjoyable times of my life. Joining SOAS as Deputy Director of the new South Asia Institute is an opportunity to put my interests and skills towards the development of the Institute and to help make it a global centre of excellence for engagement, study, policy, and research on the South Asia region. The environment at SOAS is so unique, and I am excited to become a part of the academic community."

Director of the SOAS South Asia Institute Professor Michael Hutt said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Purewal to the SOAS South Asia Institute. Dr Purewal has had a number of collaborative international links with universities in India, Ghana, Sudan and Bangladesh and has recently completed a large project under the Religion and Society programme funded jointly by the AHRC and the ESRC on popular religious practices and transgressions of religious boundaries in South Asia.”

Dr Purewal received an MA in South Asian Area Studies from SOAS in 1992 and a Ph.D in Development Studies from Lancaster University in 1998. She has been teaching at the University of Manchester since 1996, first in the Department of Development Studies and since 2006 in the Department of Sociology.

The scholar’s most recent book is Son Preference: Sex Selection, Gender and Culture in South Asia (Oxford: Berg, 2010), and other publications include studies of diasporic Sikh shrines, Sikh-Muslim relations, access to housing for the rural poor, the impact of displacement and partition, and gender and development. She is also the co-author of Hodder’s Complete Course in Panjabi.

Dr Purewal will be joining SOAS on 1 August 2014.