SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Dr David Lunn

BA (Cantab); MA, PhD (London)
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David Lunn
South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Research Associate

SOAS South Asia Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)


Dr David Lunn
Email address:
21/22 Russell Square
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
By appointment


David Lunn is the Simon Digby Postdoctoral Fellow at SOAS, University of London. He is working on the published and unpublished works of the late Simon Digby, and editing these for a new collected works series of this renowned scholar's many significant writings. These are forthcoming from Oxford University Press (New Delhi) in ten volumes.

David received his PhD from SOAS in 2012, following an MA from SOAS and BA from Clare College, University of Cambridge. He rejoined SOAS in 2015, after two years on the European Research Council project Musical Transitions to European Colonialism in the Eastern Indian Ocean, based at King's College London. He has published on language in early Hindi cinema, the politics of language in early 20th-century India, Malay literature and Muharram in 19th-century Singapore, and the poetry of the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, has work forthcoming on the queer satire of Indo-Irish writer Aubrey Menen, music in colonial South and Southeast Asia, and other topics.

David acts as the SOAS Academic Staff Liaison for the Queer Asia network and conference.


Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society



David is particularly interested in literary and cultural production in Hindi-Urdu, including cinema and theatre as well as poetry and prose, especially in the early 20th century. He also works on 19th-century cultural and intellectual transformations in India and the Malay world.



Lunn, David (2018) 'Across the divide: Looking for the common ground of Hindustani'. Modern Asian Studies, (52) 6, pp 2056-2079.

Lunn, David and Byl, Julia (2017) '‘One Story Ends and Another Begins’: Reading the Syair Tabut of Encik Ali'. Indonesia and the Malay World, (45) 133, pp 391-420.

Byl, Julia and bin Raja Halid, Raja Iskandar and Lunn, David and McCallum, Jenny (2017) 'The Syair Tabut of Encik Ali: A Malay account of Muharram at Singapore, 1864'. Indonesia and the Malay World, (45) 133, pp 421-438.

Lunn, David (2015) 'The Eloquent Language: Hindustani in 1940s Indian Cinema'. BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies, (6) 1, pp 1-26.

Book Chapters

Lunn, David (2019) 'Queer Desires and Satirised Empires: Notes on Aubrey Menen’s A Conspiracy of Women (1965)'. In: Luther, J. Daniel and Loh, Jennifer Ung, (eds.), Queer Asia: Decolonising and Reimagining Sexuality and Gender. London: Zed Books. [Forthcoming]

Lunn, David and Schofield, Katherine Butler (2018) 'Delight, Devotion and the Music of the Monsoon at the Court of Emperor Shah ‘Alam II'. In: Pernau, Margrit and Schofield, Katherine Butler and Rajamani, Imke, (eds.), Monsoon Feelings. New Delhi: Niyogi Books, pp 219-254.

Book Reviews

Lunn, David (2018) 'Review of Walter N. Hakala, Negotiating Languages: Urdu, Hindi, and the Definition of Modern South Asia (New York: Columbia, August 2016)'. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, (41) 1, pp 238-240.

Lunn, David (2016) 'Review of Shobna Nijhawan, Women and Girls in the Hindi Public Sphere: Periodical Literature in Colonial North India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2012)'. South Asia Research, (36) 2, pp 290-292.


Schofield, Katherine Butler and Lunn, David (2018) 'The SHAMSA database 1.0 – Sources for the History and Analysis of Music/Dance in South Asia, c. 1700–1900. (Version 1.0)'.


Lunn, David (2018) 'Hindustani' Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. [Forthcoming]


This list was last generated on Sunday, 19th May 2019, 23:43 Europe/London.