MemberGil Ben-Herut

Dr. Gil Ben-Herut is an Associate Professor in the Religious Studies Department, University of South Florida. His research interests include pre-modern religious literature in the Kannada language, South Asian bhakti (devotional) traditions, translation in South Asia, and programming for Digital Humanities. Ben-Herut’s book Śiva’s Saints: The Origins of Devotion in Kannada according to Harihara’s Ragaḷegaḷu (Oxford University Press) is the first study in English of the earliest Śaiva hagiographies in the Kannada-speaking region, and it argues for a reconsideration of the nature and development of devotionalism associated today with the Vīraśaivas. The book received the Best First Book Award for 2019 from the Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA) and the 2020 Best Book Award from the Southeastern Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (SEC/AAS). Ben-Herut is currently co-translating selections from this hagiographical collection for a separate publication. This project is funded by the American Academy of Religion’s Collaborative International Research Grant. His extensive publications include a co-translation of a twelfth-century Kannada treatise about poetics, encyclopedic entries, a co-edited volume, book chapters, and peer-reviewed articles in the journals Religions of South Asia, International Journal of Hindu Studies, and Journal of Hindu Studies. Ben-Herut is the co-founder of the Regional Bhakti Scholars Network (RBSN), a platform for facilitating scholarly conversations about South-Asian devotional traditions, with annual events at national conferences, dedicated publications and special issues, as well as ongoing collaborations. Utilizing his copious experience in computer programming, Dr. Ben-Herut is leading several Digital Humanities projects, including ROSES (Rapid Online Search Engine for Scanned materials) and BHAVA (BHAkti Virtual Archive). The latter is funded by the American Library Association’s Carnegie Whitney Grant.

MemberMohd Muzhafar Idrus

Mohd Muzhafar Idrus (PhD) has taught English at all levels at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia and received 2014 Outstanding E-Learning Award from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia. He served as ESL Lecturer at Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, West Virginia University. His field of specialization includes popular culture, literature, and discourse analysis. His research on Malay popular television fiction has appeared in International Journal of Youth and Adolescence, The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies, and International Education Studies. He has been a member of the editorial board for International Journal of Literature and Arts and Environment and Social Psychology.

MemberElspeth Van Veeren

I am a Lecturer in Political Science in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS) at the University of Bristol and a Resident at the Pervasive Media Studio at the Bristol Watershed. My published work has appeared in a range of edited volumes and peer-reviewed academic journals including New Political Science, International Political Sociology, Review of International Studies, and the Journal of War and Culture Studies.

MemberTina-Marie Ranalli

I am a medievalist and consultant in addition to teaching. I work on medieval literature, manuscripts, incunabula, and marginalia in French, German, Italian, English, & Latin. My research takes a historical approach to literature and focuses on power relations, transgression, sex, violence, the body, the hegemonic and the marginal, kyriarchy, & medieval notions of antiquity. I am interested in ethical, accessible tech, digital humanities, & Hindi and Tamil languages and cultures.