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MemberMaddalena Italia

Maddalena started working on her doctoral thesis in September 2013, after completing her MA (with Distinction) in Languages and Cultures of South Asia at SOAS. Before moving to SOAS, she earned her BA and MA in Classics (both cum laude) from Milan State University. Her first MA dissertation focused on the Sanskrit figure of speech śleṣa (“Śleṣa, or ‘double meaning’: traces of stylistic continuity from the Ṛgveda to Sanskrit kāvya literature”). Her SOAS Master’s dissertation (“Non-verbal communication in Sanskrit kāvya literature: an emic perspective”) dealt with the theoretical frameworks through which literary body language is analyzed in Sanskrit systematic thought on drama and literature (nāṭya- and sāhityaśāstra). Maddalena’s doctoral research aims to offer new insights and a better understanding of the history of the modern reception of Sanskrit erotic poetry. In her PhD thesis (working title: “The erotic untranslatable: the modern reception of Sanskrit love poetry in the West and in India”), Maddalena analyses commentaries, translations, and rewritings of Sanskrit erotic poetry produced by modern intellectuals – Orientalists, Indian nationalists, colonial and post-colonial translators, poets, and philologists.

MemberVinay Dharwadker

Modern British literature; Anglophone literatures, Indian and South Asian literatures in English; World literature; literatures in Indian and South Asian languages (Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, Punjabi, Urdu); colonial and postcolonial literatures; modern theory, classical studies, comparative studies; poetry and poetics, fiction and narrative theory, novel and short story; planetary modernism and modernist studies; cosmopolitanism, migration and diaspora, postcolonial realism; literary translation and translation studies

MemberThomas Mazanec

I research premodern Chinese literature and religion, as well as their dialogue with other cultures. I’m also interested in world literature, poetics, digital humanities, and translation studies. My publications cover a broad range of topics, from the problem of translating rhythm, to the evolution of a Sanskrit literary term in medieval China, to the potential contributions of network analysis to literary history. I’m especially fond of the art of literary translation and maintains a collection of bizarre and obscure translations of classical Chinese poetry into English. I’m currently revising the manuscript of my first book, Poet-Monks and the Invention of Chinese Buddhist Poetry, which explores the formation of a tradition of “poet-monks” during the ninth and tenth centuries, and the ways in which these monks sought to equate poetic and religious practice in their verses. My next project, Beyond Lyricism: Chinese Poetry in Other Modes, will explore the genres and practices which lie on the borderlines of “poetry” in early and medieval China. To learn more about my work, please visit http://tommazanec.com.

MemberAnthony Cerulli

Anthony Cerulli’s primary field of research is the critical study of medicine, religion, and the body. His past and current projects incorporate ethnographic, historical, and philological methods to explain how and why people in south India “do things with texts” to heal and promote wellbeing. His research also looks at the academic study of Asian medicines in/and the medical and health humanities and explores links between art, aesthetics, and ethnography. Anthony is also the creator of Manuscriptistan, a photo-ethnography art project probing the aesthetics of Indian manuscript cultures — @manuscriptistan [Twitter] & @manuscriptistan [IG] Anthony’s research has been supported by fellowships and awards from several organizations, including the Kluge Center, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, European Institutes for Advanced Study, American Council of Learned Societies, and the Fulbright-Hays Program.

MemberSteven Vose

Dr. Vose’s main areas for research and teaching are the religious traditions of South Asia, primarily in Jainism and secondarily in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Islam. He examines the history of interactions within and between these traditions to understand the meaning and contexts of community identity formation, religious authority, and the relationships between religious communities and the state in the medieval and early modern periods. Dr. Vose is interested in devotional practices as public religious expressions, especially pilgrimage and temple ritual; and the place of “tantra” and alchemy in medieval Indian society. Dr. Vose also works on the development of vernacular literary traditions, especially in Old Gujarati, and the interaction of Sanskrit, Prakrit and vernacular languages and literatures. Finally, his work examines architecture, sculpture and manuscript painting practices, especially in western India. More broadly, he is interested in historiography in the study of religion, literary theory and religious reading practices, modern and premodern religious identity politics, religious and ethno-nationalism, conflict and non-violence in South Asia. His early training was primarily anthropological, and he brings a focus on the lived reality of religious life to his study of the medieval and early modern Indian past.

MemberJoel Bordeaux

I am a specialist in Bengali Shakta traditions, and particularly intrigued by how political authority, canonical works of literature, and esotericism mediate differences between or within religions. My current book project, Raja Krishnacandra: Hindu Kingship and Myth-Making in Early Modern Bengal, explores how an eighteenth century Bengali raja named Krishnacandra Ray — famed throughout the region as a patron of Sanskrit scholarship, a champion of tantric goddess worship, and the alleged architect of British colonialism in India — passed into myth, and what that process suggests about the formation of regional and sectarian identities. Other interests at the moment include sacrifice, ritual magic, literary exegesis, and Hindu-Buddhist interactions.