Sushma Jansari

Project Curator - Asian Ethnographic and South Asia Collections

Department: Asia 


Dr Sushma Jansari is responsible for the curation, presentation, development and research of the ancient to medieval South Asian collections at the British Museum. In addition, she co-curates the South Asian anthropological collections.

Sushma is the curatorial liaison for Manchester Museum's South Asia Gallery Project in partnership with The British Museum (due to open 2020). With Dr Claire Wintle (Brighton), Sushma is currently co-supervising an AHRC funded CDP PhD - The Global and the National: South Asian Collectors at the British Museum.

Her research interests have two main strands. Firstly, the (re)construction of knowledge about South Asian antiquity over the last two centuries. Secondly, collections-based history.

Sushma completed her BA, MA and PhD at UCL. The title of her doctoral thesis (2016) is: ‘From Megasthenes to Sophytes: a re-examination of literary and numismatic sources for Seleucid-Mauryan relations in British and Indian scholarship’.

Previous Projects:

Curator of the ancient to medieval South Asia displays in the Sir Joseph E. Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia (opened November 2017), including sections dedicated to the Maurya period, ancient Buddhist sites of central and southeast India, Indo-Roman trade, Gandhara, Gupta art and architecture, Central and Western India, the Deccan, and the history of Sri Lanka.

Curatorial lead for the Asia Ethnographic Collections storage move project.

Selected Publications:

S. Jansari, 2018 - ‘The Sophytes coins: from the Punjab to Bactria and back again', Numismatic Chronicle vol.178, pp.71-98, pl.7-12.

S. Jansari, 2017 - ‘Redisplay of the Jaina Collections at the British Museum’, Jaina Studies: Newsletter of the Centre of Jaina Studies, issue 13, pp.46-9.

S. Jansari, 2017 - ‘Jaina material on display in the Hotung Gallery’, Arts of Asia, vol.47.

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

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

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

S. Jansari, 2012 - ‘Roman Coins from the Mackenzie Collection at the British Museum’, Numismatic Chronicle, Vol.172, pp.93-104.