Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1062
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
Modern South Asian history; South Asian religious traditions; Religion in political culture; The politics of secularism; Islamic traditions.
My current book project (Religion and Political Culture: The Arya Samaj in North India, 1877-1927 [working title]) explores both of these interests by way of a study of one prominent organization for nationalist and religious reform in colonial north India, the Arya Samaj. My project situates the Arya Samaj within a wider context of changing conceptions of religion, religious freedom, and the secular state in India and Britain at the turn of the twentieth century.
"The problem of translation: A view from India," The Immanent Frame (blog), http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2012/04/26/the-problem-of-translation-a-view-from-india/ (accessed April 26, 2012).
“Brave Converts in the Arya Samaj: the Case of Dharm Pal,” in Anshu Malhotra and Farina Mir, eds., Punjab Reconsidered: History, Culture and Practice (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2012), 261-286.
“Sacred Cows and Secular History: Cow Protection Debates in Colonial North India,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 30, no. 2 (2010): 297-311.
Review of Rosalind I. J. Hackett ed., Proselytization Revisited: Rights Talk, Free Markets and Culture Wars, London: Equinox Publishing Ltd., 2008, Republished in Religion, Vol 40:1, Published online at: http:// dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.religion.2009.05.002
L23 348 Hindu Traditions
What exactly is Hinduism? Many have remarked on the overwhelming variety of Hindu traditions: the plethora of gods, the richness and range of mythological traditions, the great variety of festivals. in this course, we examine the diversity of Hindu traditions from a number of perspectives. We will reflect on what this diversity means - How can we define Hinduism? Who is a Hindu? What have people understood "Hinduism" to be? We will familiarize ourselves with key concepts, ceremonies and narratives (from the Vedas to the Ramayana, from sacrifice to marriage) through the eyes of men and women, upper- and lower-castes, on the Indian subcontinent and around the world. We will also learn how issues of social and gender equality have been debated in the language of Hindu traditions, thereby building a foundation for understanding the gender struggles, class conflict, and sectarian strife in modern India. 3 units. Same as L06 ANECC 348, L22 History 3480, L97 IAS 3480.
L23 3670 Gurus, Saints, and Scientists: Religion in Modern South Asia
Many long-standing South Asian traditions have been subject to radical reinterpretation, and many new religious movements have arisen, as South Asians have grappled with how to accommodate their traditions of learning and practice to what they have perceived to be the conditions of modern life. In this course we will consider some of the factors that have contributed to religious change in South Asia, including British colonialism, sedentarization and globalization, and new discourses of democracy and equality. We will consider how new religious organizations were part and parcel with movements for social equality and political recognition; examine the intellectual contributions of major thinkers like Swami Vivekananda, Sayyid Ahmad Khan, and Mohandas Gandhi; and explore how Hindu, Islamic, and other South Asian traditions were recast in the molds of natural science, social science, and world religion. 3 units. Same as L22 3673, L75 3670, L97 3670.
L23 368 Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion
What is religion? In this course, we will explore how religious ritual may help to clarify the nature and function of religion. We will first consider some "classic" theories of religion and ritual, such as those of James Frazer, Sigmund Freud, Emile Durkheim, Mircea Eliade, Max Weber, E. E. Evans-Pritchard, and Clifford Geertz. NOTE: This course is required for Religious Studies majors and minors. It is recommended that this course be taken after completion of L23 105 (or L23 202) and L23 106. 3 units. Same as L98 AMCS 3688.
L23 38C8 Religion and Politics in South Asia: Writing Intensive Seminar
The relationship between religion, community, and nation is a topic of central concern and contestation in the study of South Asian history. This course will explore alternative positions and debates on such topics as: changing religious identities; understandings of the proper relationship between religion, community, and nation in India and Pakistan; and the violence of Partition (the division of India and Pakistan in 1947). The course will treat India, Pakistan, and other South Asian regions in the colonial and post-colonial periods. This course satisfies the modern course requirement for the history major. PREREQ: SEE HISTORY HEADNOTE. 3 units. Same as home course L22 History 38C8.
L23 392 South Asian Traditions in Practice: Ritual, Spectacle, Self
What is ritual, what do rituals mean, how do rituals work? In this course we will explore different perspectives on how ritual practice can be effective: How do ritual performances express or reconcile core cultural values? How do forms of worship produce, reinforce, or alter relationships of kinship, hierarchy or power? How are regimens of practice employed for making the self? We will explore these questions through detailed study of forms of practice in Hindu, Islamic, Jain, and other South Asian traditions: public processions; dramatic performance; domestic rites; meditation and worship; diet and bodily discipline. Course aims: to deepen our understandings of religion, society, and politics in general, and of South Asian culture and history in particular. No prerequisites, prior coursework in L23 250F The Hindu Traditions recommended. 3 units. Same as L22 History 3920, L97 IAS 3920.