Maya Jasanoff’s teaching and research focus on the history of modern Britain and the British Empire. Her first book, Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850, investigates British expansion in India and Egypt through the lives of art collectors. It was awarded the 2005 Duff Cooper Prize and was a book of the year selection in numerous publications including The Economist, The Observer, and The Sunday Times. Her 2011 book Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World provides the first global history of the loyalists who fled the United States after the American Revolution, and resettled in Canada, the Caribbean, Britain, Sierra Leone, and beyond. Liberty's Exiles won numerous distinctions including the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction, the George Washington Book Prize, and a Recognition of Excellence from the Cundill Prize in History; it was also shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize. She is currently writing a book on "The Worlds of Joseph Conrad," which uses Conrad's life and fiction to provide a transcontinental history of the world c. 1900.
Jasanoff has been an ACLS Charles A. Ryskamp Fellow, a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library, and a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress. Her essays and reviews regularly appear in publications including The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, and The New Republic.
- Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (Knopf/Harper Press, 2011)
- "Revolutionary Exiles: The American Loyalist and French Émigré Diasporas," in David Armitage and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, eds., The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c. 1760-1840 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
- "Border Crossing: My Imperial Routes" in History Workshop Journal 64:1 (2007)
- "The Other Side of Revolution: Loyalists in the British Empire" in The William & Mary Quarterly 65:2 (2008)
- Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850 (Knopf/Fourth Estate, 2005)
- "Collectors of Empire: Objects, Conquests and Imperial Self-Fashioning" in Past & Present 184 (2004)
Position: Professor of History
Field: British, Imperial, International
Specialty: Modern British and imperial history, with special attention to colonial South Asia, the British Atlantic world, and Britain's relations with Europe
2013-2014: On Leave
27 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138