I am an associate professor in the South Asia Program, the Comparative Religion Program, and the International Studies Program at the University of Washington's Jackson School of International Studies. I teach and write about religion, history, and culture in South Asia, as well as theoretical issues in the study of religion in general and its intersection with historiography. I work with Marathi and Hindi materials, including textual, ethnographic, and visual/filmic sources. I specialize in the study of Maharashtra from the second millennium CE to the present, ranging from the medieval period, through the colonial and modern periods, to the postcolonial era. My first book, Religion and Public Memory (Columbia University Press 2008) won the American Academy of Religion's award "The Best First Book in the History of Religions" in 2009. The book has been published in India under the title History, Bhakti, and Public Memory by Permanent Black.
My second book, co-authored with Andrew Rotman and William Elison, is on the Bollywood classic Amar Akbar Anthony and will be published by Harvard University Press in 2014.
In a third book project I am writing about the cultural politics of vernacularization in the 13th Century, as it posed an immanent critique of caste and gender, and through this critique, created a pre-modern public sphere in the region.
My current leave is funded by a Fulbright Nehru Senior Fellowship (2013) and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2013-2014).
- CHID 498 F: Special Colloquia Seminar on Yoga: History and Politics