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. In Knut A. Jacobsen (Ed.), Routledge handbook of contemporary India (pp. 159-171) Abingdon, Oxon United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Lal, Brij V. (2015). Avatars of Girmit Narrative. In Farzana Gounder (Ed.), Narrative and identity construction in the Pacific Islands (pp. 177-193) 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. In Jack Corbett and Brij V. Lal (Ed.), Political life writing in the Pacific: reflections on practice (pp. 59-74) Acton, ACT, Australia: ANU Press.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Lal, Brij V. (2013). The Hague Immigration Lecture, 2008. In Amarjit Singh (Ed.), Indian Diaspora: Voices of Grandparents and Grandparenting (pp. 285-292) 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. In Jon Fraenkel, Stewart Firth and Brij V. Lal (Ed.), The 2006 military takeover in Fiji: a coup to end all coups? (pp. 21-42) Canberra, ACT, Australia: ANU E Press.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Lal, Brij V. and Munro, Doug (2006). The text in its context : An introduction. In 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. In Ron Crocombe (Ed.), Pacific Indians: profiles in 20 Pacific countries (pp. 133-154) Suva, Fiji: Institute of Pacific Studies.

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

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

Journal Article