I am a cultural historian of modern India, Japan, and the UK, based at the University of Edinburgh and working also as a journalist for the BBC and a number of newspapers and magazines.
I’m especially interested in religion/spirituality, philosophy, literature, and mental health. You can find details of my past and present research and writing, along with info on talks and publications, by following the links above.
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By way of autobiographical basics, I grew up in London before heading ‘up north’ (as it seemed at the time) to Oxford University.
After finishing an undergraduate degree in History I co-founded a company producing music for the computer games industry… but was lured back into academia and a doctorate in South Asian history at St Antony’s College, Oxford.
I had the chance to go to Japan for a couple of years, to study the language and to train and work as a journalist with the Asahi Shimbun.
I got regularly and horribly lost above and below ground in the great city of Tokyo, but made it back to the UK to start work at Edinburgh University, where now I research and teach on India and Japan.
I’m involved in print and broadcast journalism on these regions and beyond, and in consultancy work for organizations including the RSA. In Edinburgh, I help to run a group – CATAS – which holds public conversations on spirituality and therapy.
Last but not least, I’ve been involved with the MASSOLIT project, providing short filmed courses for school students and learners of all ages – you can watch a trailer and one full episode from our USA/Japan course here.