Ryan Perkins joins SUL as South Asian Studies Librarian

photo of Ryan Perkins

We are excited to announce the arrival of Ryan Perkins as the new South Asian Studies Librarian. Ryan, who starts September 8, has the challenge of creating a new collecting area at SUL that focuses on the region that includes the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka.

He received his doctorate in South Asian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, with a dissertation exploring the rapid adoption of print technology by Urdu-speaking Muslims and Hindus in late colonial India. Since then, he has held post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Chicago and the University of Oxford. Most recently Ryan has been teaching at Portland State University. He has extensive research experience in libraries and archives in India, Pakistan, Great Britain, and the United States and a strong network of scholarly and professional contacts in the field.

While Stanford has collected materials about South Asia in English and other western languages over the years, most recently by John Eilts, Ryan will greatly expand the library’s collections to include materials in the vernacular languages of the region. His impressive language skills include Urdu, Hindi, Pashto, Persian, and Deccani. There is a growing need at Stanford for a librarian-scholar who specializes in this area, and who can help identify and acquire materials in all formats in the humanities and social sciences, including government information, maps, and film. Ryan's background both as a scholar and as an instructor will be essential in developing the South Asian collection and in working closely and effectively with the faculty, researchers, and students affiliated with Stanford's multidisciplinary Center for South Asian Studies. The Center's current director, Thomas Hansen, had an important role in the success of this job search, as did the other members of the search committee, John Eilts and Rebecca Wingfield.

Ryan will be part of the International and Area Studies Group, and his office will be located in Green Library next to the Middle East Unit. Please welcome him to SUL!

By Sarah Sussman