Renasha Khan

Born in London, I grew up on the south coast in Brighton. From an early age I was hooked on all things historical and my hometown proved to be a rich source of local history, which, I’m lucky to say, helped develop my curiosity for how/why things came to be as they are now! I read History and Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London and graduated in 2009.

My work experience and interests are broad and range a wide array of fields and subject matter so when it came to what to do after university, I decided to explore my options. After almost a year working as an editorial assistant at a small independent magazine in Brussels, I decided I wanted to reconnect with something I’d had a quiet passion for since childhood; Archaeology. I found out about the project through Katharina and was spellbound when I first came to visit the archives late last year. Here in front of me was what, having studied as a Historian, we strove for: pure empirical, primary evidence! The thought of working with these treasures, and finding more along the way, was an opportunity I wasn’t going to miss. I started volunteering in January this year, focusing my media skills ( I spent my earlier years working in TV, print media and PR) on creating an online platform for the archives project to run on. The fruits of which are this very blog, which I designed and continue to manage content on, as well as the facebook page and twitter feed.

When I started with the project, I felt it was crucial to create an exciting and relevant access point so the public and other academics in the field could see what amazing work was being done here.  It’s been a labour of love, which has opened up the project to interactive dialogues with other archival and historical organisations, funding bodies, school and interested individuals like you!

I am also writing a paper based on the archives of Stuart Piggott. I studied aspects of South Asian and oriental history at SOAS, so when I realised that Piggott had been in India in 1942-3, I felt compelled to focus my research on his letters and photographs from this era. For two weeks in both 1942 and 1943, Stuart Piggott embarked on two trips across northern India, into Sikkim, Nepal and Tibet. Not only are they brilliant pieces of observation, full of ethnographic commentary and archaeological detail, they also are whimsical and readable personal accounts through territories seldom seen by European eyes at this time. In no doubt my favourite find from the archives.

 

One Response to Renasha Khan

  1. Christo Thanos says:

    Did you had a look at the archives of Glyn daniel (1914-1986) in Cambride? He was Piggots supervisor in India and also a good friend. In Daniel’s archive are dwawings/cartoons, made by Piggot during their work in India.
    In Daniel’s autobiography “Some small harvest” there is also a lot of information about Piggot in India.

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