Home / Education / Undergraduate Subjects / Alastair Gornall



Research Interests:
Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences
Discipline: History and Religion
Pillar / Cluster: Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences


Alastair Gornall gained his Ph.D. in Asian Studies from the University of Cambridge in 2013. He is currently Assistant Professor in History and Religion at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, Research Associate in the Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia at SOAS, University of London, and was 2018 Research Fellow, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation. His research focuses on the intellectual and cultural history of Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia. He teaches courses on Asian history, religion, philosophy and literature and helps lead the Digital Humanities Minor program.

Recent Publications

Authored Books

Edited Books

  • 2014. Ciotti, Giovanni, Alastair Gornall and Paolo Visigalli, eds. Pupikā: Tracing Ancient India Through Texts and Traditions. Contributions to Current Research in Indology Volume 2. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Select Articles

  1. 2019 (with Aleix Ruiz-Falqués). “Scholars of Premodern Pali Buddhism.” In Brill’s Encyclopedia of Buddhism, ed. by Jonathan A. Silk, Richard Bowring, Vincent Eltschinger and Michael Radich, 420–36. Leiden: Brill.
  2. 2018 (with Amal Gunasena). “A History of the Pali Grammatical Traditions of South and Southeast Asia by Vaskaḍuvē Subhūti (1876): Part One: The Kaccāyana-vyākaraṇa and its commentaries.” Journal of the Pali Text Society 33: 1–53.
  3. 2018 (with Aleix Ruiz-Falqués).“Verses of a Dying Arahant: A Revised Edition and Translation of the Telakaṭāhagāthā.” Journal of the Pali Text Society 33: 55–100.
  4. 2017 (with Justin Henry). “Beautifully Moral: Cosmopolitan Issues in Medieval Pali Literary Theory.” In Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History, ed. by Alan Strathern and Zoltán Biedermann, 77–93. London: University College London Press.
  5. 2015. “Fame and Philology: R.C. Childers and the Beginnings of Pāli and Buddhist Studies.” Contemporary Buddhism, vol. 16, no. 2: 462–89.
  6. 2014. “How Many Sounds Are in Pāli? Schisms, Identity and Ritual in the Theravāda Saṅgha.”Journal of Indian Philosophy, vol. 42, no. 5: 511–50.

Review Articles

  • 2017. “Ratnamati et ses œuvres.” Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient 103: 475–91.

Book Reviews

  • 2014. How Theravāda is Theravāda? Exploring Buddhist Identities, edited by Peter Skilling, Jason A. Carbine, Claudio Cicuzza, and Santi Pakdeekham, reviewed in Religions of South Asia, 8.2: 237–41.

Recorded Lectures and Talks

Online lecture for Shan State Buddhist University/ King’s College, London, 7 August 2020.

Conference paper for A Lasting Vision: Dandin’s Mirror in the World of Asian Letters, Jerusalem, Israel, 13–17 December 2015.


  • 2009 – 2012, PhD, South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge
  • 2009, MA, Study of Religions, SOAS, University of London (Distinction)
  • 2008, BA, Study of Religions, SOAS, University of London (1st Class Hons.)


  • 2018 Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowship in Buddhist Studies
  • 2014 SUTD Pedagogy Research Grant
  • 2009 - 2012, Rapson Scholarship, University of Cambridge
  • 2008 - 2009, AHRC Research Preparation Masters Award, SOAS
  • 2007, Undergraduate School Prize, SOAS



  • Intellectual History
  • Religion
  • Historical sociology