Maya R. Jasanoff is an American academic. She serves as a professor of history at Harvard University, where she focuses on the history of Britain and the British Empire.
Jasanoff grew up in Ithaca, New York and comes from a family of academics. Her parents, Sheila and Jay Jasanoff, are both Harvard professors, and her brother Alan is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was educated at Harvard College before studying for a master's degree at Cambridge, where she worked with Christopher Bayly. She earned her Ph.D. at Yale with Linda Colley, completing the thesis “French and British imperial collecting in Egypt and India, 1780-1820” (Yale, 2002). Prior to arriving at Harvard, she taught at the University of Virginia.
Jasanoff won both the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction and 2012 George Washington Book Prize for her most recent monograph, Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World. Her first book, Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850, won the Duff Cooper Prize in 2009. She is currently working on a research project centering on the life and times of novelist Joseph Conrad. As part of her research, she has blogged a journey on a cargo ship sailing from China to Europe.