SOAS University of London

South Asia Department

South Asia Department Staff

Head of Department

Dr Ben Murtagh

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

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.

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: Please e-mail for an appointment
  • On Sabbatical:On Research Leave, Term 2 (2016-17)

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: B400
  • Office Hours: Email for an appointment
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: Mondays 1-3pm
Amina Yaqin
Senior Lecturer in Urdu and Postcolonial Studies
Amina Yaqin
Urdu language and literature; post-colonial literature and theory; gender studies; South Asian literatures in English; feminism in a Third World context; gender and politics in Pakistan
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4305
  • Email:
  • Room: 470
  • Office Hours: Thursday 11am-12pm; Friday 2.30-3.30pm

Senior Lectors

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 11-12 and Thursday 1-2

Teaching Fellows

Stefanie Lotter
Teaching Fellow
Staff Silhouette

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

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.

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.

Vayu Naidu
Research Associate
Vayu Naidu

Historical research methods for fiction and creating text from crossing borders with oral traditions. Science and myths.

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