Sunil Amrith

Chair, Department of South Asian Studies

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Sunil Amrith is Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies and Professor of History, and a Director of the Joint Center for History and Economics. His research is on the trans-regional movement of people, ideas, and institutions, and has focused most recently on the Bay of Bengal as a region connecting South and Southeast Asia. Amrith's areas of particular interest include the history of migration, environmental history, and the history of public health. He is a 2017 MacArthur Fellow, and received the 2016 Infosys Prize in Humanities.

Amrith's most recent book is Unruly Waters (Basic Books and Penguin UK), 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 (Harvard University Press, 2013) was awarded the American Historical Association's John F. Richards Prize in South Asian History in 2014. He is also the author of Migration and Diaspora in Modern Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2011), and Decolonizing International Health: South and Southeast Asia, 1930-1965 (Palgrave, 2006), as well as articles in journals including the American Historical Review, Past and Present, and Economic and Political Weekly.  

Amrith sits on the editorial boards of Modern Asian Studies and is one of the series editors of the Cambridge University Press book series, Asian Connections, and of the Princeton University Press book series, Histories of Economic Life.

Sunil Amrith grew up in Singapore, and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Cambridge. Before coming to Harvard in 2015, he spent nine years teaching at Birkbeck College, University of London.