Main Members

Click on the name for full details.

  • Prof. Dilip Menon
    Prof Dilip Menon is the Mellon Chair of Indian Studies and the Director of the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa at the University of Witwatersrand.
  • Prof. Isabel Hofmeyr
    Isabel Hofmeyr is Professor of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand.
  • Assoc. Prof Sharad Chari  is Associate Professor at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa and the Department of Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand
  • Dr Pamila Gupta is a senior researcher at WiSER( Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research) at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She holds a PhD in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University.
  • Dr Srila Roy is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Wits. She has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick after which she lectured in sociology at the University of Nottingham from 2007-12.
  • Dr Kaveh Yazdani has a PhD degree in social sciences (Sozialwissenschaften) at the University of Osnabrück in 2014. His scholarly interests include the “Great Divergence” debate and the history of South and West Asia between the 17th and 20th centuries. Most recently, he was granted the Prince Dr. Sabbar Farman-Farmaian fellowship at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam where he works on the socio-economic impact of India’s Parsis on Persia’s Zoroastrians (1853-1925) under the supervision of Touraj Atabaki.
  • Dr Edgar Taylor is a postdoctoral fellow with CISA. He pursued his doctoral work in Anthropology and History from the University of Michigan, where his research examined the dynamics of urban protest and racial thought in late colonial and postcolonial Uganda.
  • Dr Nisha Poyyaprath Rayaroth is an SSRC Transregional Research Fellow with CISA. Her ongoing project examines the transnational history of Indian circus in the context of Africa.
  • Charne Lavery is an AW Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow based jointly at CISA and the Wits School of Language, Literature and Media. She is currently working on a monograph based on her thesis, which was titled ‘Writing the Indian Ocean in selected fiction by Joseph Conrad, Amitav Ghosh, Abdulrazak Gurnah and Lindsey Collen’, as well as a new project focused on the figure of the beachcomber in world literature.
  • Sarah Gundry is a PhD student at King’s College, London and an honorary researcher at the Centre for Indian Studies, University of the Witwatersrand. She is also a participant in the international ‘Commodities and Culture in the Colonial World’ network.
  • Manaf Kottakunnummal is a graduate of Calicut University and JNU and it currently pursuing a PhD at CISA, with interests in gender and family in colonial India.
  • Suraj Yengde Suraj Yengde, after training as a human rights lawyer in Maharashtra and the United Kingdom, is pursuing a PhD on comparative caste practices in India and Africa.
  • Kwanda Lande is a full time Masters’ student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, the provisional tittle of his current research is “understanding the economic effects of the Port of Ngqura and Coega Industrial Development Zone project, Port Elizabeth on the Township of Motherwell”.
  • Neerali Gajjar is currently pursuing her Master in Political Science. Her research focuses primarily on Gujarati Indians in Cape Town. Her interests include politics, current affairs, ethnic and cultural identities, nationalism, especially in the Indian subcontinent. She has completed her Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, as well as her Honours in International Relations.
  • Melinda Barnard is an AW Mellon PhD Scholar based jointly between Anthropology and the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa at Wits University..
  • Walter Matina is an AW Mellon PhD Scholar jointly based in Anthropology and The Center for Indian Studies in Africa at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
  • Kagiso Makoe is currently our Administrative Officer at the Centre of Indian Studies in Africa


  • Dr. Rebecca Walker  is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh where her doctoral work focused on various aspects of everyday violence in Eastern Sri Lanka.
  • Dr. Andrew MacDonald after time as a student and teacher in South Africa and parts of Asia, recently completed a PhD on  smugglers and counterfeiters on southern Africa’s Indian Ocean coast, at St John’s College, Cambridge.
  • Charli-Ann Punt  Charli-Ann Punt has completed her M.A in Literature of the Indian Ocean, at Wits.
  • Akash Bharadwaj  completed a Bachelors in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, and completed his MA  in Anthropology at Wits.
  • Nisha Mathew interests in migration, space and the commercial history of Dubai began while pursuing a Post graduate Diploma in Cultural Studies at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS) in Bangalore. She has completed her PhD in History at Wits.
  • Kartikey Shukla  completed his Bachelors in Social Work. He was also an Erasmus Mundus exchange student at Lund University, Sweden. Currently he is pursuing Masters (Research) in Anthropology, his research looks into “oil politics and development challenges in post-civil war South Sudan” especially focused on the operation of the ONGC Videsh Ltd
  • Frangton Chiyemura is a BA International Relations and BA Honours International Relations graduate at University of Venda . He is pursuing a MA International Relations degree  on Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa’s (BRICS) strategic (Bilateral) relations with Zimbabwe.
  • Lukas Spiropoulos. Lukas Spiropoulos,  a graduate of Witwatersrand University, is completing an M.A research degree on the history of South Asian business and labour migration between South Africa and Botswana.


 Visiting scholars

    • Anokhi Parikh is pursuing her Ph.D. at the London School of Economics. She is focusing on new city development in India and is a visiting scholar at CISA.
    • Ahana Bannerjee is an MPhil student at the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies, Kolkata where she is working on her dissertation on regionalism in southern Africa.she is a visiting scholar. 
    • Taneesha Mohan is currently pursuing my PhD at the London School of Economics at the Department of Geography and Environment. Her work focuses on tied labour in agriculture.
    • Mingwei Huang is a visiting doctoral student from the University of Minnesota. Her dissertation examines the role of everyday practices of Sino-African friendship and “south-south” cultural exchanges in mediating contemporary capital flows and migration from China to South Africa. In Johannesburg, she conducts ethnographic research on China Malls.

 Visiting Professors/Associates

  • Dr Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga: Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and a visiting professor in the School of Social Science, University of Witwatersrand. His visit is funded by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship as well as the National Research Foundation’s Knowledge, Interchange, and Collaboration. He is collaborating with Professor Gillian Marcelle and Professor Shahid Vawda  on a project to rethinking the history, philosophy, and practice of Science, Technology, and Innovation from the Global South
  • Prof Javed Majeed is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at King’s College, London and the author of, most recently, Muhammad Iqbal: Islam, Aesthetics and Postcolonialism (London, New York and Delhi: Routledge, 2008).
  • Prof Walter D. Mignolo is an Argentine semiotician (École des Hautes Études) and professor at Duke University, who has published extensively on semiotics and literary theory, and worked on different aspects of the modern and colonial world, exploring concepts such as global coloniality, the geopolitics of knowledge, transmodernity, border thinking, and pluriversality. His most recent work is The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options (Latin America Otherwise) (Duke University Press, 2011)
  • Prof David Ludden is Professor of Political Economy and Globalization and Chair of the Department of History at New York University, and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge. Prof. Ludden has published widely on South Asian history, including four edited volumes, three monographs, and over 50 academic articles and chapters, whose overarching theme is the comparative history of capitalism, particularly in agrarian settings and as it concerns inequality, poverty, conflict, and social movements.  While at CISA, Prof. Ludden will be completing  draft manuscript entitled Global Asia. The book provides a narrative account of long-distance interactions affecting local environments across Asia broadly conceived, from ancient times to the present.
  • Dr Caio Simões de Araújo is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA) of the Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Dr Amir Taha  currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA) of the Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Dr Luca Raimondi is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with CISA.

Honorary Research Associates

Associate members