Book Launch: Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History, eds. Zoltan Biedermann & Alan Strathern

The Centre for the Study of South Asia and the UCL Institute for Advanced Studies warmly invite you this coming Monday, 30th October, 6-8pm, for the launch of a book co-authored by our colleague, Zoltán Biedermann. There will be brief comments from three discussants, with a response from the editors, before we raise a glass or two to toast publication of the book. Copies of the book will be available to buy on the night but can also be downloaded for free from UCL Press. All welcome – registration and further details, below.

Book Launch: Zoltán Biedermann and Alan Strathern (eds), Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History  (UCL Press, 2017) – download here

UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, South Wing, Common Ground


2017-18 Seminar Programme

Term 1

Monday 30 October, 6pm-8pm

Book Launch: Zoltán Biedermann and Alan Strathern (eds), Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History  (UCL Press, 2017) – download here

UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, South Wing, Common Ground


Wednesday 29 November

Seminar: Natasha Eaton (UCL History of Art), ‘Meta-colour in South Asia’


Wednesday 6 December

Seminar: Andrew Harris (UCL Geography), ‘Vertical Mumbai: 3D urbanism in twenty-first-century Asia’


Term 2

Wednesday 31 January

Seminar: Phiroze Vasunia (UCL Classics), ‘Akbar’s Dream: The Mughal Emperor in Nineteenth-Century Literature’


Monday 26 February, 6pm-8pm

Book Launch: Margot Finn and Kate Smith (eds), The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857 (UCL Press, 2018)

UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, South Wing, Common Ground


Wednesday 14 March

Seminar: Tania Sengupta (UCL Bartlett School), title tbc


Unless otherwise stated, seminars are held in the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, South Wing, Room 19 from 1pm to 2pm. All welcome.

For a downloadable doc: 2017-18 Programme

Viceroy’s House (2017) – A Discussion with Gurinder Chadha

The Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Institute of Advanced Studies are delighted to welcome GURINDER CHADHA, the director of Bhaji on the Beach (1993), Bend It Like Beckham (2002) and Bride and Prejudice (2004) as part of UCL Grand Challenges’ India Voices programme. Chadha will discuss her latest film, Viceroy’s House with a panel of UCL academics including Professor Margot Finn and Professor Chris Pinney, chaired by Dr Jagjeet Lally.  The presentation and discussion will be followed by a reception.

All welcome to attend.

Start: Mar 20, 2017 07:00 PM
End: Mar 20, 2017 09:00 PM

Location: IAS Common Ground, Ground Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building

Please register here.

Spring Seminar Programme

Institute of Advanced Studies, South Wing, Room 11



8 February   Natasha Eaton (UCL History of Art), Meta-colour in South Asia

1 March      Natasha Cornea (Visiting Research Fellow, UCL Geography), Urban Environments and Situated Institutions: Everyday Governance in West Bengal

22 March     Manujendra Kundu (University of Delhi), Trial, Bigotry, Designs: The Hindu-Muslim Relationship and Colonial Bengali Media


For PDF, click here: term-2-2017-programme

Symposium, 16.9.2016: ‘Short Histories of the British Empire, 1816-1856’

While historians have often sought out big events and explosive moments, this geographically wide-ranging conference seeks to explore what short histories, individual biographies and innovative timespans can tell us about the British empire. By excluding the Napoleonic War and the Indian Revolt of 1857, we seek to move away from these large-scale, historically dominant events. Building on a vibrant field of imperial history, this conference roots itself in geographical specificities of individual imperial hubs and plays close attention the routes between the metropole and settler and sojourner British colonies.

Examining four set of key themes (rule and resistance, work and capital, movement and networks, and knowledge) this conference offers the specificities and dislocations of the local in a time of extraordinary and accelerated change. Steampower, increasing bureaucracy, the end of the slave trade and developments in warfare all contributed to a period when the British empire expanded at a swift rate.

By bringing together historians, geographers, art historians, and architects at the interdisciplinary UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, this conference will ask how approaches from disparate regions might fruitfully inform one another. Drawing attention to the ‘short’ but important events that shaped the British empire, we will propose revisionist chronologies and open up new terrains for study.

See, for further details and a programme: 

UCL South Asia Postgraduate Researchers’ Workshop, 8.6.2016

We are delighted that some of UCL’s postgraduate research students working on South Asia will be presenting their research next Wednesday, June 8. Our students will speak for about 15 mins each, followed by Q&A, and are organised into 4 panels reflecting some of the breadth of research on South Asia being conducted at UCL. The workshop will be held in Room 20 at the IAS between 1pm and 5.30pm with an interval for coffee and chat, and we aim to head off for drinks at the close of the workshop. We hope to see as many UCL South Asianists there as possible. A full programme with abstracts is can be downloaded by clicking the following link: PGR Workshop Schedule

Call for Papers: Postgraduate Researchers’ Workshop

The UCL Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World (CSSA) brings together researchers and postgraduate students working on South Asia from across the disciplines. The Centre forms an important part of UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies, and promotes research and teaching related to the geographical region of South Asia and its intersections with the wider world, including the South Asian diaspora.

The aim of the Postgraduate Reseachers’ Workshop is to highlight the work of students from across the disciplines at UCL whose current research focuses on South Asia, the Indian Ocean world, and their diasporas. We hope that the workshop will serve as an opportunity for the fruitful exchange of ideas with area specialists across departments, and facilitate networking and new partnerships.

Speakers will be organised into inter-disciplinary thematic clusters, will speak for up to 10-15 minutes on their work, followed by Q&A and a drinks reception. Any students who wish to present should send the title of their paper, and a description of no more than 250 words, to the organisers, Tariq Jazeel ( or Jagjeet Lally (, by 23 May 2016.

Weds 25th May – Dr Tanya Sengupta

Start: May 25, 2016 01:00 PM
End: May 25, 2016 02:30 PM

Location: Room 101, History Department, 23 Gordon Square.

The Institute of Advanced Studies is very pleased to host the fourth in a series of seminars organised by the Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World, part of its Area Studies Re-mapped theme.

Dr Tanya Sengupta, Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory, The Bartlett School of Architecture, will be offering the second lecture this term.

**Please note the change of venue for this seminar**