a1 Royal Holloway, University of London
A historian, like any other scholar, incurs many debts. I am no exception. I would like to begin this occasion by acknowledging some of those debts. I have benefited greatly from the generosity of colleagues—from the generosity of colleagues in my particular field of Islamic and South Asian history in North America, Europe and the Subcontinent, but also from the generosity of historians in general. It is a great privilege to work amongst historians in the University of London, who form arguably the largest group of historians in the world, that work together.