Professor Sujit Sivasundaram

  • College positions:
    College Lecturer in History
  • University positions:
    Professor of World History
  • Subjects: History


BA (1997), MPhil (1998), PhD (2001), all University of Cambridge


Jerry Bentley Book Prize 2022

British Academy Book Prize 2021

Philip Leverhulme Prize 2012

Research interests

World history, especially the history of the Pacific and Indian oceans and its islands; the history of race; global histories of science, medicine, technology, the environment; urban history; the history of the British Empire, c.1780-1840. Currently working on the long history of Colombo as an exemplar of the global South city and also on an environmental history of the Indian Ocean over the long term.

Teaching interests

History Part IA: The Global Eighteenth Century; History Part 1B: British Worlds. I also supervise across other world history papers. I supervise on average around six doctoral students at one time and in topics across the wide range of world history; students working with me have won a wide range of national and international prizes for their research. I supervise in the MPhil in World History and occasionally on other MPhil programmes in the Faculty of History and also in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. I host visiting students and sponsor and mentor postdoctoral fellows across world history. I currently convene the faculty's research seminar in World History which meets at this college.

Key publications

'Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire' (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2021; and London: William Collins, 2020).

'Islanded: Britain, Sri Lanka and the Bounds of an Indian Ocean Colony' (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013; and New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013).

'Nature and the Godly Empire: Science and Evangelical Mission in the Pacific, 1795-1850' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, paperback 2011).

With Marwa Elshakry, eds. 'Science, Race and Imperialism in Victorian Science and Literature', Vol. 6 (London: Chatto and Pickering, 2012).

Introduction and essay entitled 'Sciences and the Global: On Methods, Questions and Theory' for forum of essays edited by S. Sivasundaram with title 'Global histories of science' in 'Isis: A Journal of the History of Science Society' (2010).

With Rohan Deb Roy eds., forum of essays with the title, 'Nonhuman empires' and own essay titled 'Imperial Transgressions: The Animal and Human in the Idea of Race' in 'Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East' (2015).