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Indian academic takes up top international affairs and history chair at LSE

A magisterial chronicle of India, a pioneering study of ecological movements and an award-winning social history of cricket are among the works of a scholar and writer who will take up the Philippe Roman Chair at LSE in 2011-12.

Ramachandra Guha, a historian and biographer based in Bangalore, will succeed professor Niall Ferguson as holder of the chair in history and international affairs. He takes up the post in September.

Now a full-time writer, he has taught at Stanford and Yale, held the Arne Naess Chair at the University of Oslo and been Indo-American Community Visiting Professor at the University of California.

His books include the ground-breaking environmental history The Unquiet Woods, the cricket history A Corner of a Foreign Field and India After Gandhi – a history of the world’s largest democracy which the Financial Times praised as: "a magisterial work…a sweeping and compendious book by one of India’s foremost writers."

In 2009 Ramachandra Guha was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honours and he is regularly named as one of the country’s, and the world’s, most influential intellectuals. He is now working on a two-volume biography of Mohandas Gandhi.

The Philippe Roman Chair is housed at LSE IDEAS, the centre for international affairs, diplomacy and strategy. Previous holders have been Professors Paul Kennedy, Chen Jian and Gilles Keppel. The post gives LSE the chance to bring a renowned academic from another part of the world to the School for a year of research, teaching and discussion.

Dr Guha said: “I am honoured and delighted at the opportunity to be part of LSE IDEAS. My intellectual evolution was profoundly shaped by several generations of scholars associated with the LSE and this debt will surely be increased further by the year spent among the brilliant minds in and around Houghton Street.”

Professor Arne Westad, co-director of IDEAS, called Dr Guha “a top intellectual” and “the thinker best placed to extend the range of work done at IDEAS to the South Asian region.”

Professor Michael Cox, co-director of IDEAS, added: "The sheer breadth of Ramachandra’s work, as well as its insight and depth, mark him out as one of the leading thinkers in our sphere. We look forward to bringing him to Houghton Street and learning more about democracy, the environment, India and perhaps even cricket."


For further information please contact the LSE Press Office, +44 (0)20 7955 7060,  pressoffice@lse.ac.uk or Dr Emilia Knight, Centre Manager of LSE IDEAS, e.knight@lse.ac.uk.

Posted 3 March 2011