SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Professor Michael J Hutt

BA, PhD (London)
  • Teaching
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Michael Hutt
SOAS South Asia Institute

Professorial Research Associate

Professor Michael J Hutt
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Michael Hutt completed a BA in South Asian Studies, majoring in Hindi literature, in 1980 and a Ph.D on the history of the Nepali language and its literature in 1984, both at SOAS.  In 1987 he returned to SOAS as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, and has been engaged in teaching and research relating to Nepal and the Himalayan region here ever since.  At SOAS he has served as a Head of Department (1995-9), Associate Dean (2002-4) and Faculty Dean (2004-10) and most recently as the founding Director of the SOAS South Asia Institute (2014-17).

The study of modern and contemporary Nepali literature is Hutt's home ground, and he is well known as a translator. He has also published on Nepali and Bhutanese politics, the Nepali diaspora in India, the Nepali media, Nepali art and architecture, and the Bhutanese refugee issue. He has been a member of the executive committee of the Britain-Nepal Academic Council ever since its foundation in 2000, and was its Chair from 2010-13; he has also served two terms as editor of the European Bulletin of Himalayan Research. In the past he has supervised doctoral students working on topics as diverse as the emergence of the Nepali public sphere; the 1990 Constitution of Nepal; vulnerability during the Maoist civil war; and ethnic politics in the eastern Himalaya.

From 2017-20 Michael Hutt was the Principal Investigator for the project After the Earth’s Violent Sway: the tangible and intangible legacies of a natural disaster, funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund through the Arts and Humanities Research Council.  For this he led a team of six researchers investigating the cultural and political impacts of the April 2015 Nepal earthquake and of earlier earthquakes in Nepal (see After Earth's Violent Sway).


PhD Students supervised
  • Faiza Rehman, The Intersection of Corporate Accountability and Environmental Liability: Towards Promoting Sustainable Transnational Environmental Protection in the Extractive Industry
  • Jayanta Rai, 'Restructuring Nepal' (working title)
  • Rabia Latif Khan, Narrative, memory and belonging: Constructing a ‘Hazara identity’ abroad
  • Sara Bertotti , Between Law and Peace: a Critical Study of the Relationship between Peace Agreements, Law and Socio-political Change
  • Zezhou Yang, 'Nepal-China relations' (working title)


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Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • South Asia
Country Expertise
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Hindi
  • Nepali


Authored Books

Hutt, Michael (2012) Eloquent Hills: Essays on Nepali Literature. Kathmandu: Martin Chautari.

Hutt, Michael (2010) The Life of Bhupi Sherchan: Poetry and Politics in Post-Rana Nepal. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Hutt, Michael and Chettri, Lil Bahadur (2008) Mountains Painted with Turmeric. New York: Columbia University Press.

Hutt, Michael (2003) Unbecoming Citizens: Culture, Nationhood, and the Flight of Refugees from Bhutan. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hutt, Michael and Subedi, Abhi (1999) Teach Yourself Nepali. A complete course in understanding, speaking and writing Nepali.. London: Hodder Headline.

Hutt, Michael (1997) Modern Literary Nepali: an Introductory Reader. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Hutt, Michael (1996) Devkota’s Muna-Madan: Translation and Analysis. Kathmandu: Sajha Publishers.

Hutt, Michael (1994) Nepal: a Guide to the Art and Architecture of the Kathmandu Valley. Gartmore: Kiscadale Publications.

Hutt, Michael (1991) Himalayan Voices: An Introduction to Modern Nepali Literature. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hutt, Michael (1988) Nepali: A National Language and its Literature. New Delhi and London: Sterling Publishers and School of Oriental and African Studies.


Hutt, Michael (2020) 'Before the Dust Settled: Is Nepal’s 2015 Settlement a Seismic Constitution?'. Conflict Security and Development, (20) 3, pp 379-400.

Hutt, Michael (2020) 'The changing face of Nepal'. Current History, (119) 816, pp 141-145.

Hutt, Michael (2019) 'Revealing What is Dear: the post-earthquake iconisation of the Dharahara, Kathmandu'. Journal of Asian Studies, (78) 3, pp 549-576.

Hutt, Michael (2016) 'Ganga Bahadur’s books: landmark proletarian novels and the Nepali communist movement'. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, (17) 3, pp 357-374.

Hutt, Michael (2015) 'Heritage, continuity, and nostalgia'. Cultural Anthropology - Hot Spots [website].

Hutt, Michael (2014) 'Writers, Readers, and the Sharing of Consciousness: Five Nepali Novels'. Himalaya, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, (34) 2, pp 18-30.

Hutt, Michael (2013) 'The disappearance and reappearance of Yogmaya: recovering a Nepali revolutionary icon'. Contemporary South Asia, (21) 4, pp 382-397.

Hutt, Michael (2012) 'Reading Nepali Maoist Memoirs'. Studies in Nepali History and Society, (17) 1, pp 107-142.

Hutt, Michael (2012) 'Singing the New Nepal'. Nations and Nationalism, (18) 2, pp 306-325.

Hutt, Michael and Whelpton, John (2011) 'The Catalogue of the Hodgson Collection in the British Library'. European Bulletin of Himalayan research, (39), pp 128-143.

Hutt, Michael (2007) 'Bhupi Sherchan: from schoolboy to Sarvahara'. Studies in Nepali History and Society, (12) 1, pp 1-24.

Hutt, Michael (2007) 'A Nepalese Triangle: Monarchy, Maoists and Political Parties'. Asian Affairs, (38) 1, pp 12-22.

Hutt, Michael (2006) 'Things That Should Not Be Said: Censorship and Self-Censorship in the Nepali Press Media, 2001-02'. The Journal of Asian Studies, (65) 2, pp 361-392.

Hutt, Michael (2006) 'Nepal and Bhutan in 2005. Monarchy and Democracy: Can They Co-exist?'. Asian Survey, (46) 1, pp 120-124.

Hutt, Michael (2005) 'Nepal and Bhutan in 2004: Two Kings, Two Futures'. Asian Survey, (45) 1, pp 83-87.

Hutt, Michael (2005) 'The Bhutanese refugees: between verification, repatriation and royal realpolitik'. Peace and Democracy in South Asia, (1) 1, pp 44-55.

Hutt, Michael (2005) 'King Gyanendra's coup and its implications for Nepal's future'. The Brown Journal of World Affairs, (vol. 1), pp 111-123.

Hutt, Michael (2001) 'Monarchy, Maoism and democracy in Nepal'. Conflict, Security & Development, (1) 2, pp 93-101.

Hutt, Michael (2000) 'Unadmitted Histories: the lives of Dalchan and Garjaman Gurun'. European Bulletin of Himalayan research, (19), pp 101-115.

Hutt, Michael (1998) 'Going to Mugalan: Nepali literary representations of migration to India and Bhutan'. South Asia Research, (18) 2, pp 195-214.

Hutt, Michael (1997) 'Bhutan in 1996: Continuing Stress'. Asian Survey, (37) 2, pp 155-159.

Hutt, Michael (1996) 'Bhutan in 1995: Weathering the Storm'. Asian Survey, (36) 2, pp 204-208.

Hutt, Michael (1996) 'Ethnic Nationalism, refugees and Bhutan'. Journal of Refugee Studies, (9) 4, pp 397-420.

Hutt, Michael (1994) 'The Poetry of Mohan Koirala'. Journal of South Asian Literature, (29) 1, pp 155-174.

Hutt, Michael (1993) 'Bhutan: Refugees from Shangri-la'. Index on Censorship, (22) 4, pp 9-14.

Hutt, Michael (1991) 'Drafting the Nepal Constitution, 1990'. Asian Survey, (31) 11, pp 1020-1039.

Hutt, Michael (1991) 'Nepal: the Pale Dawn of Democracy'. Index on Censorship, (20) 7, pp 18-26.

Hutt, Michael (1990) 'The Blowing of the April Wind: Writers and democracy in Nepal'. Index on Censorship, (19) 8, pp 5-9.

Hutt, Michael (1989) 'A hero or a traitor? The Gurkha soldier in Nepali literature'. South Asia Research, (9) 1, pp 21-32.

Hutt, Michael (1989) 'Reflections of Political Change in Modern Nepali Literature'. Kailash - Journal of Himalayan Studies, (15) 3-4, pp 135-156.

Hutt, Michael (1984) 'Neon Lights and Vedic caves: European influences on the Nepali writer'. South Asia Research, (4) 2, pp 124-138.

Edited Books or Journals

Hutt, Michael and Onta, Pratyoush, (eds.), (2017) Political Change and Public Culture in Post-1990 Nepal. Delhi: Cambridge University Press.

Hutt, Michael, (ed.), (2004) Himalayan ‘People’s War’: Nepal’s Maoist Rebellion. London: Hurst and Co..

Hutt, Michael, (ed.), (1994) Bhutan: Perspectives on Conflict and Dissent. Gartmore: Kiscadale Publications.

Hutt, Michael, (ed.), (1994) Nepal in the Nineties: Versions of the Past, Visions of the Future. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. (SOAS studies on South Asia).

Book Chapters

Hutt, Michael (2017) 'Sociocultural and political change in Bhutan since the 1980s: reflections from a distance'. In: Dragsbæk Schmidt, Johannes, (ed.), Development Challenges in Bhutan: Perspectives on Inequality and Gross National Happiness. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International, pp 19-27.

Hutt, Michael (2017) 'The Royal Palace Massacre, Conspiracy Theories and Nepali Street Literature'. In: Hutt, Michael and Onta, Pratyoush, (eds.), Political Change and Public Culture in Post-1990 Nepal. Delhi, India: Cambridge University Press, pp 39-55.

Hutt, Michael (2014) 'The Last Himalayan Monarchies'. In: Toffin, Gérard and Pfaff-Czarnecka, Joanna, (eds.), Facing Globalization in the Himalayas: Belonging and the politics of the self. New Delhi: Sage Publications, pp 419-443.

Hutt, Michael (2009) 'Where is home for an Indian Nepali writer?'. In: Subba, T.B. and Sinha, A.C. and Nepal, G.S. and Nepali, D.R., (eds.), Indian Nepalis: Issues and Perspectives. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company, pp 28-48.

Hutt, Michael (2004) 'Introduction: Monarchy, Democracy and Maoism in Nepal'. In: Hutt, Michael, (ed.), Himalayan 'People's War': Nepal's Maoist Rebellion. Bloomington : Indiana University Press: Hurst & Company, pp 1-20.

Hutt, Michael (2003) 'Reading Sumnima'. In: Lecomte-Tilouine, M. and Dolfus, P., (eds.), Ethnic Revival and Religious Turmoil. Identities and Representation in the Himalayas.. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 23-43.

Hutt, Michael (2001) 'Bhutan'. In: Jones, Derek, (ed.), Censorship: a World Encyclopedia. London: Fitzroy Dearborn, pp 225-226.

Hutt, Michael (2001) 'Nepal'. In: Jones, Derek, (ed.), Censorship: a World Encyclopedia. London: Fitzroy Dearborn (UK & USA), pp 246-247.

Hutt, Michael (2001) 'Rup Chand Bista'. In: Jones, Derek, (ed.), Censorship: a World Encyclopedia. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn (UK & USA), pp 1689-1690.

Hutt, Michael (1997) 'Being Nepali without Nepal: reflections on a South Asian diaspora'. In: Gellner, David N. and Pfaff-Czarnecka, Joanna and Whelpton, John, (eds.), Nationalism and Ethnicity in a Hindu Kingdom: The Politics of Culture in Contemporary Nepal. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, pp 101-144.

Hutt, Michael (1996) 'Looking for Shangri-la, from Hilton to Lamicchane'. In: Selwyn, Tom, (ed.), The Tourist Image: Myths and Myth-Making in Tourism. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, pp 49-60.

Monographs and Working Papers

Hutt, Michael (1988) Nepali: A National Language and its Literature. New Delhi and London: Sterling Publishers and School of Oriental and African Studies.


Hutt, Michael (2018) 'A voice from the past speaking to the present: Why Devkota’s English essays are still relevant' Record Nepal.

Hutt, Michael (2014) 'Nepal's Internal Conversation' La.Lit, 3.

Hutt, Michael (2014) 'Nepal's Internal Conversation [Interview]' La.Lit: A Literary Magazine, 3.


This list was last generated on Tuesday, 27th September 2022, 00:39 Europe/London.