Rebecca Neill


Research title: How Powerful Materials Shaped the Gupta Empire of India

Research Summary

In this research, I move the study of this empire from a dynastic explanation into one of material and social negotiations. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this project investigates how a series of socio-economically powerful materials influenced the direction and nature of imperial expansion and shaped the Gupta Empire’s overall development. The proposed project will, in part, examine how Indian identity and imperialism influences, and is influenced by, the past.

This project is timely, not only in academic terms, but also in the context of the wider Indian community today. With Kamala Harris’ election to US vice-president and the publication of Priyamdava Gopal’s (2019) Insurgent Empire, questions surrounding Indian identity and the impact of imperialism have re-emerged in local and international discourses.






2021 Royal Numismatic Marshall Memorial Fund






Additional Information

The Textiles Society Member