Professor Prasenjit DUARA

Raffles Professor of Humanities

Director (Asia Research Institute)

Director (Humanities and Social Sciences Research)

email: dprpd@nus.edu.sg |  Ph: 6516 6012



Professor Duara works closely with the Deputy President (Research and Technology) to promote research excellence and is responsible for driving the University's research agenda in the social sciences and humanities including programs in business, law, public policy and design.  He supervises the allocation of research funding in these areas. Since Jan 2011, Professor Duara has also served as the Director of Asia Research Institute (ARI).

Professor Duara received his PhD from Harvard University, USA in History and East Asian Languages in 1983.  He has taught at Princeton University, George Mason University and Stanford University between 1981 and 1990.  From 1990 until 2008, he taught at the University of Chicago where he was Chair of the China Studies Committee (1994-1996) and subsequently, Chair of the History Department (2004-2007).

An internationally reputed historian of China and Asia more broadly, Prof. Duara has delivered over 50 keynote and distinguished lectures internationally since 1996. In 2008, he delivered the keynote address at the anniversary conference of Thirty Years of Reform and Development in the PRC in Peking University, organized by the Ministry of Finance, PRC, Asian Development Bank, & Peking University, and in 2010 he represented one of eight global Indian Thinkers in the series  From West Heavens to the Central Plain: India-China Summit on Social Thought held in Shanghai. His research interests include social and cultural history, problems of development, nationalism and imperialism, religion, historical thought and social theory. He also serves on the editorial boards of several international journals and on the advisory and review boards of scholarly institutions.  He has written four books and edited another.

At NUS, Prof. Duara seeks not only to enable research in the humanities, social sciences and allied fields, but also to co-ordinate the vast quantum of research in Asian studies spread over different institutions at the University. He is particularly interested in promoting inter-Asian and multi-disciplinary research through comparison, convergence or connectivity and to develop Singapore as the hub of research in inter-Asian relationships.