Seema Alavi specializes in early modern and modern South Asia, with an interest in the transformation of the region’s legacy from Indo-Persian to one heavily affected by British colonial rule. She has written books on the military, religious and medical cultures of the region from the early modern to modern times. Her most recent book is the Albert Hourani Award (Honorable Mention) winning, Muslim Cosmopolitanism in the age of Empire from Harvard University Press, USA.
She has twice been a Fulbright Scholar and a Smuts Visiting Fellow at Cambridge. She was a visiting scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard. In 2010 she was at the Radcliffe institute at Harvard as the William Bentinck-Smith Fellow. She wrote Sepoys and the Company: Tradition and Transition in Northern India, 1770–1830 (Oxford University Press, 1995) and co-authored with Muzzafar Alam, A European Experience of the Mughal Orient: The I‘jaz-i Arsalani (Persian Letters 1773–1779) of Antoine-Louis Henri Polier (Oxford University Press, 2001). Her book Eighteenth Century in Indian History in the Oxford Debates series is a popular reader in India and abroad. In 2009 she wrote Islam and Healing: Loss and Recovery of an Indo-Muslim Medical Tradition, 1600–1900 (Palgrave Macmillan, UK 2009). She serves on the editorial board of several national and international journals, including Modern Asian Studies UK, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, UK, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, UK and Biblio, New Delhi.