A Message from the Director

The South Asia Center would like to welcome everyone back for the 2014-15 academic year, and to extend a special welcome to the new members of our community, including new MA and PhD students, faculty, and staff. We hope you’ll take advantage of the many South Asia-related events scheduled for the coming year. 

The South Asia Center is excited to welcome new South Asia new faculty members and post-doctoral fellows here at Penn this semester. Dr. Rahul Mukherjee has joined the Department of English as the Dick Wolf Assistant Professor of Television and New Media Studies. Dr. Luther Obrock and Mustafa Menai have joined the Department of South Asian Studies as Lecturers in Sanskrit and Urdu, respectively. Dr. Mukherjee’s work focuses on new media technologies particularly in relation to the formation of new and disparate publics and the practice of politics. Luther Obrock’s research is on the history of Sanskrit literary culture in early modern Kashmir. We are excited to have them join our community here at Penn. In addition, we would also like to welcome Dr. Tyler Williams, who has been appointed as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of South Asia Studies. Dr. Williams’ research focuses on the history of writing in modern Hindi literature. 

We are also delighted to congratulate Dr. Deven Patel on his promotion to Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of South Asian Studies here at Penn. Dr. Patel has gained recognition for his outstanding work on Sanskrit literary culture and has published a ground-breaking book entitled Text to Tradition: The Naiṣadhīyacarita and Literary Community in South Asia (Columbia University Press, 2014) on the reception history of one of Sanskrit literature’s most important mahākāvya poems. 

We would also like to express our appreciation and thanks for the hard work and of Dr. Lisa Mitchell during the first year of her directorship of the South Asia Center. She undertook the task of preparing the Center’s Title VI application this last year. We are grateful for the commitment and vision that she has brought to the Center!

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the new South Asia Center website. Stay tuned for announcements of upcoming events. We look forward to seeing many of you at this year’s South Asia events.

Interim Director, South Asia Center

Associate Professor, South Asia Studies