Honorary Professor Brij Lal

Honorary Professor

School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Brij was born in Fiji and received his university education there, in Canada and Australia. He has taught history at the University of the South Pacific, the University of Papua New Guinea, the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Australian National University where he was Professor of Pacific and Asian History from 1990-2016. His many awards have included Fellowship of the Australian Humanities Academy, Pacific Distinguished Scholar Medal, Centenary Medal of the Government of Australia, Officer of the Order of Fiji and in 2015, Member of the Order of Australia. He does serious scholarship for a living and writes creative non-fiction (Faction) for fun. His hobbies are bush walking and watching cricket.

Research Interests

  • Pacific Islands History
  • The Indian Diaspora
  • Historiography
  • Creative non-fiction writing


View all Publications



Book Chapter

  • Lal, Brij V. and Jacobsen, Knut A. (2016). Dispersals, migrations, diversity of communities and the notion of an Indian diaspora. Routledge handbook of contemporary India. (pp. 159-171) edited by Knut A. Jacobsen. Abingdon, Oxon United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2015). Avatars of Girmit Narrative. Narrative and identity construction in the Pacific Islands. (pp. 177-193) edited by Farzana Gounder. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2015). End of a phase of history: writing the life of a reluctant Fiji politician. Political life writing in the Pacific: reflections on practice. (pp. 59-74) edited by Jack Corbett and Brij V. Lal. Acton, ACT, Australia: ANU Press.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2015). The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated: culture, identity and the Indo-Fijian experience. Indian diaspora: socio-cultural and religious worlds. (pp. 52-72) edited by Pratap Kumar. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. doi: 10.1163/9789004288065

  • Lal, Brij V. (2014). Hank of Coombs. The Boy from Boort: Remembering Hank Nelson. (pp. 75-88) Canberra: ANU Press.

  • Hassankhan, Maurits S. and Lal, Brij V. (2014). Introduction. Resistance and Indian Indenture Experience: Comparative Perspectives. (pp. 9-18) edited by Maurits S. Hassankhan, Brij V. Lal and Doug Munro. Daryaganj, New Delhi, India: Manohar Publishers & Distributors.

  • Lal, Brij and Munro, Doug (2014). Non-resistance in Fiji. Resistance and Indian Indenture Experience: Comparative Perspectives. (pp. 121-156) edited by Maurits S. Hassankhan, Brij V. Lal and Doug Munro. Daryaganj, New Delhi, India: Manohar Publishers & Distributors.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2013). Indenture: experiment and experience. Routledge Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora. (pp. 79-95) edited by Joya Chatterji and David Washbrook. London, United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2013). The Hague Immigration Lecture, 2008. Indian Diaspora: Voices of Grandparents and Grandparenting. (pp. 285-292) edited by Amarjit Singh. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. doi: 10.1007/978-94-6209-467-3_13

  • Lal, Brij V. (2009). Anxiety, uncertainty and gear in our land: Fiji’s road to the military coup, 2006. The 2006 military takeover in Fiji: a coup to end all coups?. (pp. 21-42) edited by Jon Fraenkel, Stewart Firth and Brij V. Lal. Canberra, ACT, Australia: ANU E Press.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2009). Indian Diaspora in Transnational Contexts: Introduction. Transnational Migrations: The Indian Diaspora. (pp. vii-xxxv) edited by William Safran, Ajaya Kumar Sahoo and Brij V. Lal.. New Delhi, India: Routledge.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2009). Indo-Fijians: roots and routes. The South Asian diaspora: transnational networks and changing identities. (pp. 89-107) edited by Rajesh Rai and Peter Reeves. London, United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2009). Reshmi. Shifting location: Indo-Fijian writing from Australia. (pp. 119-134) edited by Subramani. Casula, NSW, Australia: Casula Powerhouse.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2008). Telling the life of A. D. Patel. Telling pacific lives: prisms of process. (pp. 177-194) edited by Brij V. Lal and Vicki Luker. Canberra, ACT, Australia: ANU E Press.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2007). Chance hai: from the campaign trail. From election to coup in Fiji : the 2006 campaign and its aftermath. (pp. 11-25) edited by Jon Fraenkel and Stewart Firth. Canberra, ACT, Australia: ANU E Press Asia Pacific Press.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2007). Mr Arjun. Stopover: A Story of Migration. edited by Bruce Connew. Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University Press.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2007). Three worlds. Translating lives: living with two languages and cultures. (pp. 26-44) edited by Mary Besemeres and Anna Wierzbicka. St Lucia, QLD, Australia: University of Queensland Press.

  • Lal, Brij V. and Munro, Doug (2006). The text in its context : An introduction. Texts and contexts : Reflections in Pacific Islands historiography. (pp. 1-14) Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press.

  • Lal, Brij V. (1981). Canada: the tide of turbans. Pacific Indians: profiles in 20 Pacific countries. (pp. 133-154) edited by Ron Crocombe. Suva, Fiji: Institute of Pacific Studies.

  • Lal, Brij V. (1979). Fiji girmitiyas: the background to banishment. Rama's banishment : a centenary tribute to the Fiji Indians 1879-1979. (pp. 12-39) edited by Vijay Mishra. London, United Kingdom: Heinemann Educational Books.

  • Lal, Brij V. (1979). The wreck of the Syria, 1884. The Indo-Fijian experience. (pp. 26-40) edited by Subramani. St Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press.

Journal Article