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Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Distinguished Professor & Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Social Sciences

Contact Information

Office  9347 Bunche Hall
Phone  310-825-3376

Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Distinguished Professor and Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Social Sciences, joined UCLA in 2004 from Oxford. Educated at the Delhi School of Economics, the first decade of his working career was spent (with brief interruptions in Philadelphia and Cambridge) teaching economic history and comparative economic development at the same institution, where he was eventually named Professor of Economic History (1993-95). Thereafter, Subrahmanyam taught from 1995 to 2002 as Directeur d’études in the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris), where his position was on the economic and social history of early modern India and the Indian Ocean world. In 2002, Subrahmanyam was appointed as the first holder of the newly created Chair in Indian History and Culture at the University of Oxford, a position he held for two years.

After joining UCLA, Subrahmanyam served from 2005 to 2011 as founding Director of UCLA's Center for India and South Asia
He teaches courses on medieval and early modern South Asian and Indian Ocean history, the history of European expansion, the comparative history of early modern empires, and various aspects of world history. He continues to advise graduate students on Indian history, the history of the Iberian empires, and more generally on forms of "connected histories". Subrahmanyam was Joint Managing Editor of the Indian Economic and Social History Review for over a decade, besides serving on the boards of a number of other journals in the US, UK, France, Portugal, and elsewhere. He was also one of the founding editors of the "South Asia Across the Disciplines (SAAD)" monograph series.

In 2013, Sanjay Subrahmanyam was elected to a Chair in Early Modern Global History at the Collège de France in Paris, and delivered a full series of lectures there over the year 2013-14. Since 2014 he continues to lecture as a long-term visiting professor, and has a regular media presence in France: TV interviews appear for example on MediaPart (May 2014), and on France Info (April 2015).

Sanjay Subrahmanyam's book Europe's India: Words, People, Empires, 1500-1800, appeared in 2017 from Harvard University Press, and in a French translation in 2018. Another book, Empires Between Islam and Christianity, 1500-1800, has appeared in 2018 in the Indian edition (Permanent Black) and the US edition will appear soon. 


M.A. Economics, 1982

Ph.D., Delhi School of Economics, 1987

D.Litt. [Honorary], University of Calcutta, 2015

Doctorat honoris causa, Université catholique de Louvain, 2017


- A.D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University, 2002-2008.
- Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2009.
- John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 2011-12.
- Infosys Humanities Prize, 2012.
- Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South, Library of Congress, 2013
- Professor of Early Modern Global History, Collège de France, 2013-14

- Elected Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, 2016

Selected Publications

1. The Political Economy of Commerce: Southern India, 1500-1650, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

2. (Ed.) Merchants, Markets and the State in Early Modern India, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1990.

3. Improvising Empire: Portuguese Trade and Settlement in the Bay of Bengal, 1500-1700, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1990; revised Portuguese translation: Comércio e Conflito: A Presença Portuguesa no Golfo de Bengala, 1500-1700, Lisbon: Edições 70, 1994.

4. (with V. Narayana Rao and David Shulman), Symbols of Substance: Court and State in Nayaka-period Tamil Nadu, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1992.

5. The Portuguese Empire in Asia, 1500-1700: A Political and Economic History, London and New York: Longman, 1993; 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012; Portuguese translation: O Império Asiático Português, 1500-1700: Uma História Política e Económica, Lisbon: DIFEL Editora, 1996; Chinese translation Putaoya diguo zai yazhou, 1500-1700: Zhengzhi he jingji shi, Macau: Comissão Territorial de Macau para as Comemorações dos Descobrimentos Portugueses, 1997; French translation, L’Empire portugais d’Asie, 1500-1700: Histoire économique et politique, Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose, 1999; 2nd edn. Paris: Le Seuil, 2013. Recipient of the Prémio D. João de Castro, Portugal, 1994.

6. (Ed.) Money and the Market in India, 1100-1700, Delhi: Oxford University Press, (Series: Themes in Indian History), 1994.

7. (Ed.) Merchant Networks in the Early Modern World (Series: An Expanding World, Vol. 8), Aldershot: Variorum Books, 1996.

8. (Ed. with Kaushik Basu) Unravelling the Nation: Sectarian Conflict and India’s Secular Identity, New Delhi: Penguin Books, 1996.

9. (Ed. with Burton Stein) Institutions and Economic Change in South Asia, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996.

10. The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997; Spanish translation, Vasco de Gama, Barcelona: Crítica, 1998; Portuguese translation, A Carreira e a Lenda de Vasco da Gama, Lisbon: CNCDP, 1998; French translation,Vasco de Gama, Paris: Editions Alma, 2012; 2nd edn. Paris: Le Seuil, 2014.

11. (Ed. with Muzaffar Alam) The Mughal State, 1526-1750, Delhi: Oxford University Press (Series: Themes in Indian History), 1998.

12. (Ed.) Sinners and Saints: The Successors of Vasco da Gama, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998.

13. Penumbral Visions: Making Polities in Early Modern South India, Delhi/Ann Arbor: Oxford University Press/University of Michigan Press, 2001.

14. (with Velcheru Narayana Rao and David Shulman) Textures of Time: Writing History in South India, 1600-1800, New Delhi/New York, Permanent Black/Other Books, 2001/2003; French translation, Textures du temps: Ecrire l’histoire en Inde, Paris: Le Seuil, 2004.

15. (ed. with Claude Markovits and Jacques Pouchepadass)
Society and Circulation: Mobile People and Itinerant Cultures in South Asia, 1750-1950, New Delhi, Permanent Black, 2003.

16. (ed.) Land, Politics and Trade in South Asia, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004.

17. Explorations in Connected History: From the Tagus to the Ganges, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004.

18. Explorations in Connected History: Mughals and Franks, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004. Setsuzoku sareta rekishi, Japanese translation, University of Nagoya Press, 2009.

19. (ed. with Kenneth McPherson) From Biography to History: Essays in the History of Portuguese Asia (1500-1800), New Delhi: TransBooks, 2006.

20. (with Muzaffar Alam) Indo-Persian Travels in the Age of Discoveries, 1400-1800, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

21. (Ed. with David Armitage) The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c. 1760-1840, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

22. (with Muzaffar Alam) Writing the Mughal World, Ranikhet/New York: Permanent Black/Columbia University Press, 2011.

23. Three Ways to be Alien: Travails and Encounters in the Early Modern World, (Menahem Stern Jerusalem Lectures), Waltham (Mass.): Brandeis University Press, 2011; French translation: Comment être un étranger: Goa – Ispahan – Venise, XVIe-XVIIIe siècles, Paris: Editions Alma, 2013.

24. Courtly Encounters: Translating Courtliness and Violence in Early Modern Eurasia (Mary Flexner Lectures), Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012.

25. Impérios em Concorrência: Histórias Conectadas nos Séculos XVI e XVII, Lisbon: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, 2012.

26. Is 'Indian Civilization' a Myth?: Fictions and Histories, Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2013 (Revised French version: Leçons indiennes: Itinéraires d’un historien, Paris: Editions Alma, 2015).

27. Aux origines de l'histoire globale (Leçon inaugurale au Collège de France), Paris: Fayard, 2014.

28. Mondi connessi: La storia oltre l'eurocentrismo, sec. XVI-XVIII, Rome: Carocci, 2014.

29. (Co-editor) The Cambridge World History, Vol. VI: The Construction of a Global World, 1400-1800 CE, Books 1 & 2, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

30. (Ed. with Henning Trüper and Dipesh Chakrabarty) Historical Teleologies in the Modern World, London: Bloomsbury, 2015. 

31. Europe's India: Words, People, Empires, 1500-1800, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2017.

32. Empires Between Islam and Christianity, 1500-1800, Ranikhet: Permanent Black/Albany: SUNY Press, 2018.

Graduate Students

Jyoti Gulati Balachandran (completed 2012)
Rajashree Mazumder (completed 2013)
Nir Shafir (Middle East; joint advisee) (completed 2016)
Subah Dayal (completed 2016)
Cenan Pirani (completed 2016)

Naveena Naqvi (joint advisee)
Naveen Kanalu Ramamurthy