Ahmedabad: Ahmedabad University announces the appointment of Dr Patrick French, an eminent writer, global researcher and historian as the inaugural Dean of its School of Arts and Sciences. As the Dean, Dr French will be responsible for building the divisions of humanities and languages, social sciences, mathematical and physical sciences, biological and life sciences and performing and visual arts.
“We were looking for someone who could reimagine what a 21st century school of arts and sciences should be,” said Professor Pankaj Chandra, Vice Chancellor of Ahmedabad University. “Dr French brings a deep concern for finding common ground between the arts and sciences and for integrating them into the contemporary issues facing the world. As someone who knows India well, he brings multiple sensibilities that that will help us craft unique research and learning domains.”
In addition to being the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Dr French will also hold the position of Professor for the Public Understanding of the Humanities.
Dr Patrick French said: “Professor Chandra and his team are doing something new and different in global education. An interdisciplinary approach to the arts and sciences, and a wide-ranging intellectual engagement between academic disciplines, will have direct benefits for Indian students. I am delighted to be a part of the building of a dynamic world-class institution.”
Dr Patrick French is an award-winning historian and biographer. He has a PhD in South Asian Studies and an MA in English Literature, both from the University of Edinburgh. His books include Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer, Liberty or Death: India’s Journey to Independence and Division, Tibet, Tibet: A Personal History of a Lost Land, The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul and India: A Portrait. He is presently writing the authorised biography of the Nobel laureate Doris Lessing. His work has won prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award, the Royal Society of Literature WH Heinemann Prize, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the US National Book Critics Circle Award. Dr. French is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at Cambridge University, and in 2018 will be the Derek Brewer Visiting Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.