Sushma Jansari

Project Curator - Asian Ethnographic and South Asia Collections

Department: Asia 


Sushma Jansari is responsible for the Department’s collection of ethnographic objects and textiles from across Asia, which range in date from the 19th century to the present day. Sushma’s research has four main focus points: the earliest ethnographic accounts of India (broadly defined) and their reception; the construction of knowledge about Seleucid-Mauryan relations in Europe and India over the last two hundred years; transformation of the meaning and use of cultural artefacts; and collections-based history, particularly in relation to South Asian ethnographic collections.

She recently completed her PhD at UCL (2016) and the title of her thesis is: "From Megasthenes to Sophytes: a re-examination of literary and numismatic sources for Seleucid-Mauryan relations in British and Indian scholarship".

Current Projects:

Ancient to early Medieval South Asia sections of the Joseph E Hotung Gallery refurbishment.

Curatorial liaison for the Manchester Museum's South Asia Gallery Project in partnership with The British Museum.

Hugh Nevill’s Sri Lankan Collections (forthcoming publication, 2017).

Collection history of the Siberian ethnographic material (forthcoming publication, 2017).

External fellowships/honorary positions/membership of professional bodies:

Honorary Joint-Secretary, Royal Numismatic Society.

Selected Publications:

"Megasthenes and the Astomoi: a case study into ethnography and paradoxography", in H. Brinkhaus and J. Wiesehöfer (eds.) Classica et Orientalia (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2016), pp. 85-96.

"Making Myth A Reality", British Museum Magazine (Spring/Summer edition 2014), pp.48-51.

"Roman Coins from the Masson and Mackenzie Collections at the British Museum", South Asian Studies, 29:2, pp. 177-193 (2013).

"Roman Coins from the Mackenzie Collection at the British Museum", Numismatic Chronicle, Vol.172, pp.93-104 (2012).