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RISA Panels at the 2016 AAR Annual Meeting



Religion in South Asia Section

Theme: New Directions in the Study of Religion in South Asia: Translation, Mediation, and


Saturday - 9:00 AM-11:30 AM


Steven Vose, Florida International University, Presiding


Chloe Martinez, Claremont McKenna College: Against Authenticity: What Fake Autobiography Can Tell Us about Real Religion in South Asia

Gregory Clines, Harvard University: Plagiarized Purāṇas? Jain Textual Composition in Early Modernity

Bhakti Mamtora, University of Florida: The Making of Scripture in 19th-century Gujarat: An Analysis of the Oral and Textual Lives of the Svāmīnī Vāto

Genoveva Castro, University of Washington: Wajid Ali Shah's Adaptation of a Vaishnava Story: A Hindu-Muslim Encounter


Responding: Laurie Louise Patton, Middlebury




Religion in South Asia Section

Theme: Garland of Forgotten Goddesses

Saturday - 1:00 PM-3:30 PM


Michael Slouber, Western Washington University, Presiding



Ehud Halperin, Tel Aviv University: (Almost) Forgotten Complexities: The Multiple Origins of the Goddess Hadimba

Noor van Brussel, Ghent University: Bhadrakāḷi in the Backwaters: The Narrative Tradition of the Dārikavadham in Kerala

Caleb Simmons, University of Arizona: "High" and "Low" Traditions in the Tales of Cāmuṇḍā and Uttanahaḷḷi, Goddesses of Southern Karnataka

Gudrun Bühnemann, University of Wisconsin: Vāruṇī, Goddess of Spirituous Liquor


Responding: Rachel Fell McDermott, Barnard College




Religion in South Asia Section

Theme: Praise Poetry across South Asian Religious Traditions

Saturday - 4:00 PM-6:30 PM


Patton Burchett, The College of William & Mary, Presiding


Audrey Truschke, Stanford University: Innovation and Conventions: Brahmanical Praises for Kavindracarya’s Negotiations with Shah Jahan

Xi He, UC Berkeley: Singing Praises of the Buddha: A Study of the Lalitavistara

Hamsa Stainton, University of Kansas: Approaching Praise Poetry via Kashmir

Luther Obrock, University of Pennsylvania: Sanskrit Praise Poetry in the Sultanate: Religion, Politics, and Materiality in Medieval North India

Responding: Christian K. Wedemeyer, University of Chicago




Religion in South Asia Section

Theme: Rivers, Religion, and Power in South and Southeast Asia

Sunday - 9:00 AM-11:30 AM


Abhishek Singh Amar, Hamilton College, Presiding


Vasudha Narayanan, University of Florida: Channels of Power: Strategies Used to Transform Local Rivers into the Ganga in Angkor

Eric Steinschneider, University of Toronto: Claiming the Golden River: Water, Religion, and Power in Tamil South India

Georgina Drew, University of Adelaide: Aviral Waters: The Purity, Poetics, and Politics of a Free-Flowing Ganga

Kelly Alley, Auburn University: City Drains as Transformational Spaces: When Do Religious Values, Dedication, and Ideology Help or Hinder Wastewater Management?


Responding: David Haberman, Indiana University, Bloomington


Business Meeting: Carla Bellamy, City University of New York and Andrea Marion Pinkney, McGill University presiding




Religion in South Asia Section

Theme: Modern Sanskrit, Religious Others, and South Asian Nationalism

Sunday - 3:00 PM-4:30 PM


Sarah Pierce Taylor, University of Pennsylvania, Presiding


Eric Gurevitch, University of Chicago: Resembling the Upanayana Samskara: Modern Sanskrit Revival Perspectives on Early Zionism

Charles Preston, University of Chicago: Akbar a la Kalidasa: Muslims, Tolerance, and Hindu Nationalism in a Modern Sanskrit Drama

Justin Henry, University of Chicago: Balancing Mount Kailash: Ravana’s Sanskrit in the Dravidian and Sinhala Buddhist Nationalist Movements


Responding: Cassie Adcock, Washington University, Saint Louis




Religion in South Asia Section, Sikh Studies Group, Space, Place, and Religion

Group & Society for Hindu-Christian Studies


Theme: Religious "Site Visits" as Pedagogical Method

Monday - 1:00 PM-3:30 PM


Charles Townsend, University of California, Riverside, Presiding



Brian J. Nichols, Mount Royal University

Anne Murphy, University of British Columbia

Andrea Marion Pinkney, McGill University

Michael Hawley, Mount Royal University

Jonathan H. X. Lee, San Francisco State University

Ravi M. Gupta, Utah State University




Religion in South Asia Section and Religion and Ecology Group

Theme: Religion, Landscape, and Ecology in South Asia

Tuesday - 9:00 AM-11:30 AM


Carla Bellamy, City University of New York, Presiding


Dean Accardi, Connecticut College: Kashmir’s Religious Nature: Siting Shrines in the Sacred Landscape

Elaine Fisher, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Taming the Goddess, Clearing the Forest: Wilderness and Divine Power in Early Modern South India

Alexander McKinley, Duke University: Forest Miracles and the Miracle of Forests: Pilgrimage and Ecological Reasoning at Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka

Drew Thomases, San Diego State University: Devote with Your Feet: Being Barefoot as Eco-Religious Practice on the Margins of Hindu and Hippie





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Revised: October 06, 2014