Lecture-Speaker Professor Michael Hutt
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Michael Hutt completed a BA in South Asian Studies, majoring in Hindi literature, in 1980 and a Ph.D on the history of the Nepali language and its literature in 1984, both at SOAS. In 1987 he returned to SOAS as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, and has been engaged in teaching and research relating to Nepal and the Himalayan region here ever since. At SOAS he has served as a Head of Department (1995-9), Associate Dean (2002-4) and Faculty Dean (2004-10) and most recently as the founding Director of the SOAS South Asia Institute (2014-17).
The study of modern and contemporary Nepali literature is Hutt’s home ground, and he is well known as a translator. He has also published on Nepali and Bhutanese politics, the Nepali diaspora in India, the Nepali media, Nepali art and architecture, and the Bhutanese refugee issue. He has been a member of the executive committee of the Britain-Nepal Academic Council ever since its foundation in 2000, and was its Chair from 2010-13; he has also served two terms as editor of the European Bulletin of Himalayan Research. In the past he has supervised doctoral students working on topics as diverse as the emergence of the Nepali public sphere; the 1990 Constitution of Nepal; vulnerability during the Maoist civil war; and ethnic politics in the eastern Himalaya.
From 2017-20 Michael Hutt is the Principal Investigator for the project After the Earth’s Violent Sway: the tangible and intangible legacies of a natural disaster, funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund through the Arts and Humanities Research Council. For this he leads a team of six researchers investigating the cultural and political impacts of the April 2015 Nepal earthquake and of earlier earthquakes in Nepal (see After Earth’s Violent Sway).