Sanjay Subrahmanyam (born 21 May 1961) is an Indian historian who specialises in the early modern period. He holds the Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Social Sciences at UCLA which he joined in 2004. In 2012, Subrahmanyam won the Infosys Prize for humanities for his "path-breaking contribution to history". Historian Srinath Raghavan wrote of Subrahmanyam in 2013,
His scholarship spans the entire early modern period, from the 15th to 18th centuries CE, and more besides. Similarly, his geographical expertise stretches from South, South-East and West Asia to Western Europe and Latin America. Then there are his technical skills, ranging from statistical analysis of economic data to interpretation of literary and visual materials. Although Subrahmanyam began as an economic historian, he has branched out to work on political, intellectual and cultural history. He works in over ten European and Asian languages and draws on sources from a dazzling array of archives. Finally, there is his sheer productivity. Subrahmanyam seems to write top-class history faster than most of us can read.
Sanjay Subrahmanyam did his BA and MA in economics from the University of Delhi. He received his PhD in 1987 in economics from the Delhi School of Economics on the topic of "Trade and the Regional Economy of South India, c. 1550–1650". He is the son of strategic analyst K. Subrahmanyam, and the brother of diplomat S Jaishankar and bureaucrat S. Vijay Kumar. He is married to a UCLA historian of modern France, Caroline Ford.
Dr. Subrahmanyam taught economic history and comparative economic development at the Delhi School of Economics till 1995. He then moved to Paris as Directeur d’études in the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, where he taught history of the Mughal empire, and the comparative history of early modern empires till 2002. In 2002 Dr. Subrahmanyam moved to Oxford as the first holder of the newly created Chair in Indian History and Culture. In 2004 he became the Navin and Pratima Doshi Chair in Indian History at UCLA, and a year later, in 2005, he became founding Director of UCLA's Center for India and South Asia. In 2014 he was appointed to the Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Social Sciences at UCLA.
He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009 and as a corresponding fellow to the British Academy in 2016. Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania selected Dr. Subrahmanyam as the 2009 Mary Flexner Lecturer. He won the 2012 Infosys Prize in the field of humanities. He was elected professor and to the chair Histoire Globale de la Première Modernité at the Collège de France in 2013.
- The Political Economy of Commerce: Southern India, 1500–1650, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
- (Ed.) Merchants, Markets and the State in Early Modern India, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1990.
- Improvising Empire: Portuguese Trade and Settlement in the Bay of Bengal, 1500–1700, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1990.
- (with V. Narayana Rao and David Shulman), Symbols of Substance: Court and State in Nayaka-period Tamil Nadu, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1992.
- The Portuguese Empire in Asia, 1500–1700: A Political and Economic History, London and New York: Longman, 1993.
- (Ed.) Money and the Market in India, 1100–1700, Delhi: Oxford University Press, (Series: Themes in Indian History), 1994.
- (Ed.) Merchant Networks in the Early Modern World (volume 8 of An Expanding World). Aldershot: Variorum Books, 1996.
- (Ed. with Kaushik Basu) Unravelling the Nation: Sectarian Conflict and India’s Secular Identity, New Delhi: Penguin Books, 1996.
- (Ed. with Burton Stein) Institutions and Economic Change in South Asia, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996.
- The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
- (Ed. with Muzaffar Alam) The Mughal State, 1526–1750, Delhi: Oxford University Press (Series: Themes in Indian History), 1998.
- (Ed.) Sinners and Saints: The Successors of Vasco da Gama, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998.
- Penumbral Visions: Making Polities in Early Modern South India, Delhi/Ann Arbor: Oxford University Press/University of Michigan Press, 2001.
- (with V. Narayana Rao and David Shulman) Textures of Time: Writing History in South India, 1600–1800, New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2001.
- (ed. with Claude Markovits and Jacques Pouchepadass) Society and Circulation: Mobile People and Itinerant Cultures in South Asia, 1750–1950, New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2003.
- (ed.) Land, Politics and Trade in South Asia, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004.
- Explorations in Connected History: From the Tagus to the Ganges, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004.
- Explorations in Connected History: Mughals and Franks, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004.
- (ed. with Kenneth McPherson) From Biography to History: Essays in the History of Portuguese Asia (1500–1800), New Delhi: TransBooks, 2006.
- (with Muzaffar Alam) Indo-Persian Travels in the Age of Discoveries, 1400–1800, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
- (Ed. with David Armitage) The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c. 1760-1840, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
- (with Muzaffar Alam) Writing the Mughal World, Ranikhet/New York: Permanent Black/Columbia University Press, 2011.
- Three Ways to be Alien: Travails and Encounters in the Early Modern World, (Menahem Stern Jerusalem Lectures), Waltham (Mass.): Brandeis University Press, 2011; French translation: Comment être un étranger : Goa – Ispahan – Venise, XVIe-XVIIIe siècles, Paris: Editions Alma, 2013.
- Courtly Encounters: Translating Courtliness and Violence in Early Modern Eurasia (Mary Flexner Lectures), Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012.
- Impérios em Concorrência: Histórias Conectadas nos Séculos XVI e XVII, Lisbon: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, 2012.
- Is 'Indian Civilization' a Myth?: Fictions and Histories, Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2013 (Revised French version: Leçons indiennes: Itinéraires d’un historien, Paris: Editions Alma, 2015).
- Aux origines de l'histoire globale (Leçon inaugurale au Collège de France), Paris: Fayard, 2014.
- Mondi connessi: La storia oltre l'eurocentrismo, sec. XVI-XVIII, Rome: Carocci, 2014.
- (Co-editor) The Cambridge World History, Vol. VI: The Construction of a Global World, 1400-1800 CE, Books 1 & 2, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015 (forthcoming).
- (Ed. with Henning Trüper and Dipesh Chakrabarty) Historical Teleologies in the Modern World, London: Bloomsbury, 2015 (forthcoming).
- "Faculty — History". www.history.ucla.edu. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
- Srinath Raghavan. "Master of Centuries". The Caravan. 1 July 2013.
- Shah, Angilee. "UCLA Center for India and South Asia :: Hard-working and prolific scholar to head new center". www.international.ucla.edu. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
- Subrahmanyam Vijay Kumar#Early life and background