Sunil Amrith named the Dhawan Professor of History

Sunil Amrith
Sunil Amrith

Sunil Amrith, newly appointed as the Renu and Anand Dhawan Professor of History, focuses his research on the trans-regional movement of people, ideas, and institutions across South and Southeast Asia. His appointment will be effective on July 1.

Amrith is currently the Mehra Family Professor of South Asian History at Harvard University.

Amrith’s areas of particular interest include the history of migration, environmental history, and the history of public health. His most recent book, “Unruly Waters,” is a history of the struggle to understand and control water in modern South Asia. His previous book, “Crossing the Bay of Bengal: The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants,” was awarded the American Historical Association’s John F. Richards Prize in South Asian History. Amrith is also the author of “Migration and Diaspora in Modern Asia” and “Decolonizing International Health: South and Southeast Asia, 1930-1965,” as well as articles in journals including the American Historical Review, Past and Present, and Economic and Political Weekly.

Amrith received a B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He was a research fellow of Trinity College at Cambridge, and taught modern Asian history at Birkbeck College (University of London) prior to joining the Harvard faculty. At Harvard, he also serves as interim director of the Mahindra Humanities Center, and a director of the Joint Center for History and Economics.

Amrith is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, known informally as the “genius grant, and received the 2016 Infosys Prize in Humanities. He serves on the editorial boards of the American Historical Review and Modern Asian Studies, and he is one of the editors of the Princeton University Press book series “Histories of Economic Life.”

The Renu and Anand Dhawan Professorship was established by Ashish Dhawan ’92 in honor of his parents for the purpose of bolstering the university’s scholarship in India and South Asia Studies.

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