The Bayly Prize for 2019

We are pleased to announce the shortlist for the Bayly Prize for 2019. This the second time the Prize will be awarded. You can read all about the inaugural presentation in 2018 in this previous blog post.

The Bayly Prize is established by the Royal Asiatic Society to celebrate the distinguished contributions of Professor Sir Christopher Bayly to global history, especially to the study of Asia.

Sir Christopher Bayly

It is awarded for an outstanding PhD dissertation on an Asian topic completed at a British university in the year prior to the award. Endowment for the Prize has been funded by over fifty friends and colleagues of Professor Bayly and by generous contributions from The Past & Present Society, The Wolfson Foundation, The Thriplow Charitable Trust, Cambridge University Press and Wiley-Blackwell.

In 2019 the Society received 26 submissions from 11 universities in the United Kingdom. These were considered by the panel of adjudicators consisting of Doctor Taylor Sherman (LSE), Professor Sunil Amrith (Harvard), Professor James Laidlaw (Cambridge), Professor Rebecca Empson (UCL) and Professor Naoko Shimizu (Yale-NUS). The panel drew up a shortlist of four contenders. The finalists are (in alphabetical order):

  • Dr. Radha Kapuria (KCL), Music in Colonial Punjab: A Social History
  • Dr. Ahmad Moradi (Manchester), Politics of Persuasion: Making and Unmaking Revolution in Iran
  • Dr. Sahil Nijhawan (UCL), Human-animal relations and the role of cultural norms in tiger conservation in the Idu Mishmi of Arunachal Pradesh, India
  • Lexi (Alexandra) Stadlen (LSE), Weaving lives from Violence: Possibility and Change for Muslim Women in West Bengal

The prize will be awarded at a reception at the Society on Tuesday 29th October 2019 at 6.30pm. The winner will be announced by Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford. If you would like to attend this prestigious event please RSVP to  Amy Riach ar(at)

Our Lectures continued this week with a Guest Lecture given by Dr Bo Gao from Ningbo University of Finance and Economics, China. His topic was “China and North Korea Economic Cooperation”, based on his extensive research for his book, China’s Economic Engagement in North Korea, published in 2019 by Palgrave Series in Asia and Pacific Studies. Dr Gao gave a very interesting lecture covering many aspects of China and North Korea’s economic policies and the interaction between the two, and other neighboring countries.


Dr Bo Gao with RAS Director, Dr Alison Ohta

Our next lecture will be on Thursday 17 October when Professor Stephen Martin from the University of Chiang Mai will lecture on “Surviving Asia, Sponsoring Mozart, The Polymathic Portrait of Dr Ferdinand Dejean”. As part of the evening Professor Martin will also give a flute recital. We hope that you will be able to join us at 6.30pm.