South Asian Studies

South Asian Studies


Interviews with scholars of South Asia about their new books.

Who owns Khadi? From the Indian Freedom Struggle to an International Trademark

March 1, 2024

Who owns Khadi?

Subhadeep Chowdhury

Why did khadi become so central to India’s freedom struggle? How did it evolve into an international trademark – and what does khadi signify in India …

Upal Chakrabarti, "Assembling the Local: Political Economy and Agrarian Governance in British India" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2021)

February 29, 2024

Assembling the Local

Upal Chakrabarti
Hosted by Arighna Gupta

In 1817, in a region of the eastern coast of British India then known as Cuttack, a group of Paiks, the area's landed militia, began agitating against…

Ina Marie Lunde Ilkama, "The Play of the Feminine" (HASP, 2023)

February 29, 2024

The Play of the Feminine

Ina Marie Lunde Ilkama
Hosted by Raj Balkaran

In Tamil Nadu, the nine-night autumnal Navarātri festival can be viewed as a celebration of feminine powers in association with the goddess. Ina Marie…

Christian R. Burset, "An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy" (Yale UP, 2023)

February 29, 2024

An Empire of Laws

Christian R. Burset
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

In An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy (Yale University Press, 2023), Dr. Christian R. Burset presents a compelling reexamin…

Knut A. Jacobsen, "The Oxford History of Hinduism: Hindu Diasporas" (Oxford UP, 2023)

February 22, 2024

The Oxford History of Hinduism

Knut A. Jacobsen
Hosted by Raj Balkaran

Knut A. Jacobsen's edited volume The Oxford History of Hinduism: Hindu Diaspora (Oxford UP, 2023) presents the histories and religious traditions of H…

Kunal Purohit, "H-Pop: The Secretive World of Hindutva Pop Stars" (HarperCollins, 2023)

February 20, 2024


Kunal Purohit
Hosted by Sneha Annavarapu

Can a song trigger a murder? Can a poem spark a riot? Can a book divide a people? Away from the gaze of mainstream urban media, across India's dusty, …

Kartik Nair, "Seeing Things: Spectral Materialities of Bombay Horror" (U California Press, 2024)

February 14, 2024

Seeing Things

Kartik Nair
Hosted by Priyam Sinha

1980s Bombay was a time when a wave of low-budget, gory horror films made by independent film producers such as the Ramsay Brothers swept the B-movie …

Yamini Narayanan, "Mother Cow, Mother India: A Multispecies Politics of Dairy in India" (Stanford UP, 2023)

February 11, 2024

Mother Cow, Mother India

Yamini Narayanan
Hosted by Yash Sharma

India imposes stringent criminal penalties, including life imprisonment in some states, for cow slaughter, based on a Hindu ethic of revering the cow …

Jeffery D. Long, "Discovering Indian Philosophy: An Introduction to Hindu, Jain and Buddhist Thought" (Bloomsbury, 2023)

February 8, 2024

Discovering Indian Philosophy

Jeffery D. Long
Hosted by Raj Balkaran

Jeffery D. Long's Indian Philosophy: An Introduction (Bloomsbury, 2023) helps readers discover how the many and varied schools of Indian thought can a…

Order and Disorder in South Asia with Christopher Chapple and Debashish Banerji

February 8, 2024

Order and Disorder in South Asia

Christopher Chapple and Debashish Banerji

This episode is dedicated to introducing the South Asian Studies Association (SASA) and their annual academic conference being co-hosted by the Asian …

Joshua Ehrlich, "The East India Company and the Politics of Knowledge" (Cambridge UP, 2023)

February 1, 2024

The East India Company and the Politics of Knowledge

Joshua Ehrlich
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

The East India Company was a unique entity in world history: More than just a commercial enterprise, the Company tried to act as its own government. N…

Francesca Orsini, "East of Delhi: Multilingual Literary Culture and World Literature" (Oxford UP, 2023)

January 29, 2024

East of Delhi

Francesca Orsini

East of Delhi: Multilingual Literary Culture and World Literature (Oxford University Press, 2023) examines literature produced, practiced, and circula…

Amanda Lanzillo, "Pious Labor: Islam, Artisanship, and Technology in Colonial India" (U California Press, 2024)

January 27, 2024

Pious Labor

Amanda Lanzillo
Hosted by Shobhana Xavier

Pious Labour: Islam, Artisanship, and Technology in Colonial India (University of California Press, 2023) focuses on the late nineteenth and early twe…

Stephen Harris, "Buddhist Ethics and the Bodhisattva Path: Santideva on Virtue and Well-Being" (Bloomsbury, 2023)

January 26, 2024

Buddhist Ethics and the Bodhisattva Path

Stephen Harris

Santideva's 8th-century Mahayana Buddhist classic, "The Guide to the Practices of Awakening" (Bodhicaryavatara), has been a source of philosophical in…

David J. Brick, "Widows Under Hindu Law" (Oxford UP, 2023)

January 25, 2024

Widows Under Hindu Law

David J. Brick
Hosted by Raj Balkaran

During British colonial rule in India, the treatment of high-caste Hindu widows became the subject of great controversy. Such women were not permitted…

Hannah Gould and Gwyn McClelland, "Aromas of Asia: Exchanges, Histories, Threats" (Penn State UP, 2023)

January 24, 2024

Aromas of Asia

Hannah Gould and Gwyn McClelland

A uniquely powerful marker of ethnic, gender, and class identities, scent can also overwhelm previously constructed boundaries and transform social-se…

Amar Sohal, "The Muslim Secular: Parity and the Politics of India's Partition" (Oxford UP, 2023)

January 24, 2024

The Muslim Secular

Amar Sohal
Hosted by Arighna Gupta

Concerned with the fate of the minority in the age of the nation-state, Muslim political thought in modern South Asia has often been associated with r…

Jan Westerhoff, "Candrakirti's Introduction to the Middle Way: A Guide" (Oxford UP, 2023)

January 20, 2024

Candrakirti's Introduction to the Middle Way

Jan Westerhoff
Hosted by Malcolm Keating

A proponent of the Madhyamaka tradition of Mahāyāna Buddhism, Candrakīrti wrote several works, one of which, the Madhamakāvatāra, strongly influenced …

Veena R. Howard, "Gandhi's Global Legacy: Moral Methods and Modern Challenges" (Lexington Books, 2022)

January 18, 2024

Gandhi's Global Legacy

Veena R. Howard
Hosted by Raj Balkaran

While there has been sustained interest in Gandhi's methods and continued academic inquiry, Gandhi's Global Legacy: Moral Methods and Modern Challenge…

Ajantha Subramanian on the Caste of Merit

January 18, 2024

Ajantha Subramanian on "The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India"

Ajantha Subramanian

Before she became the host and star of Violent Majorities, the RTB series on Israeli and Indian ethnonationalism, Ajantha Subramanian sat down with El…