Professor Wright specialises in the intellectual history of South Asia, particularly the pre-modern period dating from the 15th to 18th century. He is completing a book about the intersection between arguments in Sanskrit logic and epistemology and the social context within which they were made. He explores how Sanskrit intellectuals were patronised by new zamindars (landlords) in the early modern period. In doing so, he examines how this interaction informed and influenced the intellectuals’ ideas about, for instance, social identities, political values, property, and religion.
He is also in the beginning stages of another project, which aims to chronicle the emerging knowledge networks in 18th and 19th century India. While the same period in Europe saw the beginning of the learned societies and the emergence of academic periodicals, scholars in South Asia seem to have developed large informal networks for the exchange of ideas and manuscripts, and the diffusion of knowledge. Wright aims to explore how these communities constituted themselves, how they functioned and the manner in which they were shaped by larger socio-historical processes. Moreover, in this project, he is employing components of the digital humanities by creating maps of these networks to study the transformations that they underwent.