Annual Prize for best Graduate Paper

Every year BASAS awards a prize to the best graduate paper presented at the Annual Conference.

The next conference is BASAS 2020 at Southampton University, 1-3 April 2020.

An award of £250 is made for the best graduate paper.

A panel of judges comprising the conference organisers and council members will make the final decision. The winning paper may be considered for publication in one of BASAS’s associated journals, Contemporary South Asia or South Asian Studies.



Joanna Simonow, ETH Zurich

“Multi-Purpose Food, Indo-US Co-operation and the Transnational Circulation of Nutritional Knowledge in the Post-War Era (c.1946-1965)”


Garima Jaju, Oxford University

“Materiality and Consumption of Work”


Erica Mukherjee, Stony Brook University

“The Impermanent settlement: Bengal’s Riparian Landscape, 1793-1845”


Reshaad Durgahee, University of Nottingham

“Subaltern careering: 19th and early 20th century re-migration across the sugar colonies of the indentured archipelago”

A revised version of this paper will be published in the Spring volume of South Asian Studies, a special “Indenture” issue also co-edited by Reshaad Durgahee.



Elizabeth Chatterjee, University of Oxford

“State Capitalism in India? A view from the energy sector.”

A revised version of the paper was published in 2017 in Contemporary South Asia 25 (1): 85-100.



Tahrat Shahid, University of Oxford

“Sexual equality in family laws for Muslims in Bangladesh: A fear of change”


Luke Heslop, University of Edinburgh

“On ‘Sacred’ Ground: The Local Politics of Contesting Space”

A revised version of the paper was published in 2014 in Contemporary South Asia 22 (1):21-36.

Bérénice Guyot-Réchard, University of Cambridge

“Nation-building or state-making? India’s North-East Frontier and the ambiguities of Nehruvian developmentalism”

A revised version of the paper was published in 2013 in Contemporary South Asia 21 (1):22-37.



Deborah Johnson, University of Zurich

“A Divided Church in a Divided Polity; the
Brokerage of a Struggling Institution in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka.”

A revised version of the paper was published in 2012 in Contemporary South Asia 20 (1):77-90.



Sahana Ghosh, University of Oxford

“Cultures and commodities in cross-border interactions in everyday life in the Bengal borderland.”


Rebecca Walker, University of Edinburgh

“”Every-other-day violence”: Questioning the integrity of the ordinary and everyday life on the East coast of Sri Lanka.”


Nico Slate, Harvard University

“”I am a coloured woman”: Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya in the United States, 1939-41.”


Radhika Govinda, University of Cambridge

“Re-inventing Dalit Women’s Identity? Dynamics of Social Activism and Electoral Politics in North India.”

Sonia Benjamin, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK

“A Rose by Any Other Name: Exploring the Politics of Roja.”

Special commendation

Srijana Mitra Das (University of Cambridge, UK) “Say Shava Shava!” Self-Censorship, Changing States and the Cultural Economy of Punjabiyat in Bombay Cinema.

Cristiana Natali, University of Bologna

“Building cemeteries, constructing identities.”

Special commendations

Pushpa Arabindoo (LSE) A class act: Middle class meddling and ordering of public spaces in Chennai
Carole Spary (University of Bristol) Female Political Leadership in India

Anja Kovacs, University of East Anglia

“Gender and Violence, Tradition and Violence: Refashioning Durga in the Service of Hindu Nationalism.”

Special commendations

Francis Lim (University of London SOAS) Hotels as Sites of Power: Tourism, Status and Politics in Nepal Himalaya

Sunita Puri (University of Oxford) Picturing Plague: Visual Narratives of the Indian Body, Colonial Power, and Infectious Disease in Bombay, 1896-1897.

Yasmin Khan, St Anthonys, University of Oxford

“Creating the Secular State: Reactions to Partition Refugees in Uttar Pradesh.”

Special commendations

Alpa Shah (London School of Economics) The Love of Labour: Seasonal Migration from a Jharkhandi Village to Brick Kilns in West Bengal

Boria Majumdar (University of Oxford) The Politics of Cricket in Colonial Bengal: 1880-1947: Invocation of a Lost History.
2002: No prize awarded.
2001 (Joint)

Michael Carrington

“The “Pucka” Viceroy’s Moral Empire Under Threat: the looting of monasteries during the 1903/4 Younghusband mission to Tibet”

D. Tyrer

“Pulp Friction: Constructing Fundamentalism and Muslim Student Antagonisms.”

Therese O’Toole

“Secularising the Sacred Cow: The Relationship between Religious Reform and Hindu Nationalism.”