Vasudha Narayanan

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Location Hall of Philosophy

Gate pass required. Purchase at our Main Gate Welcome Center, (716) 357-6250

Vasudha Narayanan is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Florida and a past President of the American Academy of Religion (2001-2002). She was educated at the Universities of Madras and Bombay in India, and at Harvard University. Her fields of interest are the Hindu traditions in India, Cambodia, and America; visual and expressive cultures in the study of the Hindu traditions; and gender issues. She is currently working on Hindu temples and traditions in Cambodia.

Professor Narayanan is the author or editor of seven books and numerous articles, chapters in books, and encyclopedia entries. In addition, she is also the associate editor of the five-volume Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Her research has been supported by grants and fellowships from several organizations including the Centre for Khmer Studies (2007); the American Council of Learned Societies (2004-2005); National Endowment for the Humanities (1987, 1989-90, and 1998-99), the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1991-92), the American Institute of Indian Studies/ Smithsonian, and the Social Science Research Council. She was the president of the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies from 1996-1998. Dr. Narayanan was named University of Florida’s Teacher Scholar of the Year in 2010.

Dr. Narayanan wants Chautauquans to know that she is delighted to be part of the week on “Food and Faith,” because, she states with a smile, she loves to offer her spiritual “curry in a hurry.” “Food and Faith is my absolutely favorite topic,” she says, “and I have written endless essays on fasting and feasting, prohibited and recommended food, food for gods and goddesses, and all for various encyclopedias!”