Aya Ikegame

The Open University

Project Team, Research Associate

Aya Ikegame

After completing her PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh in 2007 (a historical anthropological study of the South Indian kingdom of Mysore) Dr Aya Ikegame won an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship (2007-8). She was then employed as a postdoctoral research fellow on an AHRC/ESRC project on monastery-run schools in South India (2009-10) at Edinburgh University’s Centre for South Asian Studies. She also worked (2010-11) as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary India Area Studies in the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan. She joined the OECUMENE Project in 2011.

Aya gained her first degrees in Architectural science from Waseda University (Japan) and then studied the Conservation of Historical Monuments at Leuven University (Belgium) before taking up the study of cultural anthropology at the University of Kyoto. Her research interests range across several continents and she is fluent in Kannada, English, Japanese and French as well as having a basic knowledge of Hindi and Sanskrit. However her expertise is focussed on the social anthropology of India and Japan with a particular interest in kingship, big men, and the religious and quasi-religious institutions that provide civic services parallel to those of the modern state. 

Her recent publications include The Princely India Re-imagined: A Historical Anthropology of Mysore from 1799 to the present (Routledge, 2012) and The Guru in South Asia: New interdisciplinary Perspectives (co-edted with Jacob Copeman, Routledge 2012).


Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism is funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant (Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour ERC-AG-SH2).

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