I am a 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, where I hold a College of Arts and Sciences Endowed Professorship. I also serve as the Director of the Center for Global Studies. I was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2018.
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 work across time periods, from the contemporary to the medieval. My fields of publication include performance studies, film studies, religious studies, history, and contemporary politics.
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. I am teaching a graduate seminar this Fall on theories of religion (Relig 501). Click here for the most current draft of the syllabus.
My books include: Religion and Public Memory (Columbia University Press, 2008); Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation (with Andy Rotman and William Elison, Harvard University Press, 2016); and The Quotidian Revolution: Vernacularization, Religion, and the Premodern Public Sphere in India (Columbia University Press, 2016).
The “Preface” and “Introduction” of The Quotidian Revolution is available for download here.