SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

South Asia Section Staff

Head of the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Dr Ben Murtagh

Learning & Teaching Coordinator

Professor Justin Watkins

Research Coordinator

Professor Irina Nikolaeva

Personal Advisors

Year 1: Please note all Year 1 UG students have been allocated an individual personal advisor

Year 2: Mr Naresh Sharma

Years 3/4: Prof Rachel Dwyer

Undergraduate Admissions Tutor

Prof. Rachel Harrison

Undergraduate Programme Convenors

Dr Amina Yaqin (BA South Asian Studies, BA South Asian Studies and...)

Dr James Caron (BA South Asian Studies – Bengali pathway)

Mr Naresh Sharma (BA South Asian Studies – Hindi pathway)

Prof. Michael Hutt/Dr Stefanie Lotter (BA South Asian Studies – Nepali pathway)

Dr James Mallinson (BA South Asian Studies – Sanskrit pathway)

Mr Naresh Sharma (BA South Asian Studies – Urdu pathway)

Postgraduate Programme Convenors

Prof. Francesca Orsini (MA Languages and Cultures of South Asia)

Prof. Francesca Orsini (MA South Asian Area Studies)

Dr Amina Yaqin (MA in the Study of Contemporary Pakistan)

Research Tutor

Prof. Rachel Dwyer

Please note that for Masters Students the Admissions Tutor and Personal Tutor is the Postgraduate Programme Convenor.

Academic Staff

Rachel Dwyer
Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema
Rachel Dwyer
Hindi Cinema; Indian popular culture; Indian film; Hinduism; new middle classes; Mumbai/Bombay; Gujarati language and literature; Gujarati diaspora esp UK and East Africa; comparative Indian literature.
  • Tel: 020 7898 4294
  • Email:
  • Room: 457
  • Office Hours: Tues: 13.30-15.30.Please e-mail for an appointment
Michael J Hutt
Professor of Nepali and Himalayan Studies
Michael Hutt
Nepali literature; the Nepali media; Nepali politics; Bhutanese refugees.
  • Tel: 020 7898 4286
  • Email:
  • Room: 359
  • Office Hours: On research leave in 2017/18

James Mallinson
Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Studies
James Mallinson
  • Tel: 020 7898 4368
  • Email:
  • Room: 458
  • On Sabbatical:On Research Leave 2015-2020
Francesca Orsini
Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature
Francesca Orsini
Hindi Literature; North Indian literary cultures; Hindi; Urdu.
  • Tel: + 44(0)20 7898 4242
  • Email:
  • Room: 419
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 11:00 - 13:00. Email for an appointment

Senior Lectors

Rakesh Nautiyal
Senior Lector in Hindi
Nautiyal Rakesh - SA IMG - 240,  186, 56
Hindi language
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4304
  • Email:
  • Room: 452
  • Office Hours: Tues & Fri: 10.00-11.00 by Email Appointment
Krishna Pradhan
Senior Lector in Nepali
Staff Silhouette
Nepali Language
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4297
  • Email:
  • Room: 460
  • Office Hours: Mondays 11:00 - 13:00

Naresh Sharma
Senior Lector in Urdu and Hindi
Naresh Sharma
Urdu and Hindi language
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4296
  • Email:
  • Room: 452
  • Office Hours: Monday 1-2pm; Thursday 3-4pm

Teaching Fellows

Sahana Bajpaie
Senior Teaching Fellow in Bengali
Sahana Bajpaie
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4648
  • Email:
  • Room: 374
  • Office Hours: Tues & Wed: 15.00 - 16.00, By Appointment Only

Stefanie Lotter
Senior Teaching Fellow
Research Fellow and Co-Investigator 'After the Earth's Violent Sway: The tangible and intangible legacies of a natural disaster'
LOTTER Stefanie - SA IMG - 485 186 56

Nepali society and culture; museology; social and cultural anthropology of the Himalaya; elite studies; heritage studies

  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4711
  • Email:
  • Room: 460
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays: 12.00-13.00 & Wednesdays: 11.00-12.00
David Lunn
Simon Digby Postdoctoral Fellow
David Lunn

19th and 20th century Hindi and Urdu literature; cinema; music; journalism; north Indian literary history; intellectual history; literary translation; literary and cultural history of Southeast Asia; Malay.

Research Associates

Louise Harrington
Research Associate
Louise Harrington

Comparative partitions; conflict and post-conflict literature and cinema; border studies; migration and diaspora studies; South Asia; Ireland; Israel/Palestine.

Csaba Kiss
Kiss Csaba - SA IMG - 485 186 56

History of Indian religions; Śaivism; mediaeval history of yoga; castes; Indian poetry; Indian inscriptions

William Radice
Research Associate
Staff Silhouette
Bengali language and literature; Tagore; Michael Madhusudan Dutt; 19th century Bengal; literary translation; poetry in Bangladesh.

Renate Söhnen-Thieme
Research Associate
Renate Sohnen Thieme
Sanskrit language and literature; classical Indian religions; folklore and music of Baltistan

John Stevens
Research Associate
John Stevens

The interconnected histories of modern West Bengal, Bangladesh and Britain; comparative religion and political theology in India and Britain; postcolonial theory; the historical construction of gender, race, class and nation; social, cultural and transnational history. He is a regular visitor to India and Bangladesh for research purposes.

Hanne-Ruth Thompson
Research Associate
Hanne-Ruth Thompson

Structural and descriptive linguistics, syntax, semantics, Bengali grammar and lexicography, philosophy of language

Emeritus Professors

Christopher Shackle
Emeritus Professor of the Modern Languages of South Asia
Staff Silhouette

Punjabi and Urdu languages and literatures; regional languages of Pakistan and North-West India; Sufism and Islam in South Asia; Sikhism and its scriptures; comparative literature of the Islamic world.

Research Fellows

Jason Birch
Postdoctoral Researcher, ERC-Funded Hatha Yoga Project
Birch Jason - SAS IMG 240 186 56

Indian history; religions; Sanskrit; yoga; Śaivism; āyurveda; textual criticism; codicology