Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Ph.D. alumni

As of August 2014, the Department of Asian Studies has 28 PhD alumni. 86% are in academic positions, of which 46% are tenure-track. 100% of students who went on the job market upon graduation have positions related to their degree.  


Dean Accardi

Title of Dissertation: "Asceticism, Gender, And The State: Saints Of The Kashmiri Sultanate, 1550-1650." 
Supervisor: Oliver Freiberger
Current Position: Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University

Emilia Bachrach

Title of Dissertation: "Reading The Medieval In The Modern: The Living Tradition Of Hagiography In The Vallabh Sect Of Contemporary Gujarat." 
Supervisors: Rupert Snell and Kathryn Hansen
Current Position: Teaching Fellow in Religion at Millsaps College

Peter Knapczyk

Title of Dissertation: "Crafting The Cosmopolitan Elegy In North India: Poets, Patrons, And The Urdu Marsiyah, 1707-1857." 
Supervisors: Akbar Hyder
Current Position: Instructor of Hindi, University of Colorado at Boulder
Faculty Profile

Maeri Megumi

Title of Dissertation: "Religion, Nation, Art: Christianity And Modern Japanese Literature." 
Supervisors: Kirsten Cather
Current Position: Smithsonian Journeys Expert


Asiya Alam

Title of Dissertation: "Marriage In Transition: Gender, Family And Muslim Social Reform In Colonial India." 
Supervisors: Akbar Hyder and Gail Minault
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of History, Louisiana State University
Faculty Profile

Elliott McCarter

Title of Dissertation: "Kurukshetra: Bending The Narrative Into Place." 
Supervisor: Joel Brereton
Current Position: Hindi lecturer, Emory University


Shaohua Guo

Title of Dissertation: "The Eyes Of The Internet: Emerging Trends In Contemporary Chinese Culture." 
Supervisor:  Yvonne Chang
Current Position: Assistant Professor in Chinese at Carleton College
Faculty Profile

Yongzhen Shu

Title of Dissertation: “Post-Socialist Regime And Popular Imagination In Chinese Cinema In The Twenty-First Century: Lu Chuan And His Films”
Supervisor:  Yvonne Chang
Current Position: Visiting Assistant Professor in Chinese at Montclair State University
Future Position: Visiting Professor at Widener University

Ian Woolford

Title of Dissertation: “Renu Village: An Ethnography Of North Indian Fiction”
Supervisors:  Martha Selby and Rupert Snell
Current position: Hindi Lecturer, La Trobe University
Faculty Profile


Urmila Patil

Title of Dissertation:  "Conflict, Identity and Narratives: The Brahman Communities of Western India from the Seventeenth through the Nineteenth Centuries."
Supervisor:  Patrick Olivelle and Cynthia Talbot
Current Position: Instructor, Loyola Marymount University

Xiaoping Wang

Title of Dissertation: "Contending for the Chinese Modern: The Writing of Fiction in the Great Transformative Epoch of Modern China, 1937-1949."
Supervisor:  Yvonne Chang
Current Position: Associate Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature, Xiamen University, China


David Brick

Title of Dissertation: "The Danakanda (Book on Gifting) of the Krtyakalpataru: A Critical Edition, Annotated Translation, and Introduction.''
Supervisor:  Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Lecturer in South Asian Studies at Yale University 
Faculty Profile

Neil Dalal

Title of Dissertation: "Texts Beyond Words: Contemplation and Practice in Sankara's Advaita Vedanta''
Supervisors:  Stephen Phillips and Joel Brereton 
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion, University of Alberta  
Faculty Profile

Mark McClish

Title of Dissertation: "Political Brahmanism And The State: A Compositional History Of The Arthasastra"
Supervisor: Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Religion, Birmingham-Southern College
Faculty Profile


Sarah Green

Title of Dissertation: "The Individual In The Nation: Locating Identity At The Transition From Didactic Nationalism To The Lyrical In Early Twentieth-Century Hindi Poetry."
Supervisor: Herman van Olphen
Current Position: K - 12 Project Consultant in the Hindi Urdu Flagship Program, UT Austin

Gardner Harris

Title of Dissertation: "Obtaining Grace: Locating The Origins Of A Tamil Saiva Precept."
Supervisor: Martha Selby
Current Position: Director of South Asian Religion & Art at the Shraman Foundation

Matthew Sayers

Title of Dissertation: "Feeding The Ancestors: Ancestor Worship In Ancient Hinduism And Buddhism."
Supervisors: Joel Brereton and Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Lebanon Valley College
Faculty Profile


Kristen Rudisill

Title of Dissertation: "Brahmin Humor: Chennai's Sabha Theater And The Creation Of Middle-Class Indian Taste From The 1950s To The Present."
Supervisor: Kathryn Hansen and Martha Selby
Current Position: Associate Professor of Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University
Faculty Profile


Laura Brueck

Title of Dissertation: "Rethinking Resistance: Constructing a Hindi Dalit Literary Identity in Contemporary India"
Supervisor: Kathryn Hansen
Current Position: Associate Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures at Northwestern University


Steven Lindquist

Title of Dissertation: "In Search of a Sage: Yajnavalkya and Ancient Indian Literary Memory."
Supervisor: Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Associate Professor of Religion, Director of Dedman College's Global And Regional Studies Initiative, and Director of Asian Studies at Southern Methodist University

Karline McLain

Title of Dissertation: "Whose Immortal Picture Stories?: Amar Chitra Katha and the Construction of Indian Identities."
Supervisor: Martha Selby
Current Position: Associate Professor of Religion, National Endowment For The Humanities Chair In The Humanities, and Chair of the Department of Religion at Bucknell University
Faculty Profile

Jarrod Whitaker

Title of Dissertation: "Drinking Status, Wearing Duty: Magic, Power, and Warrior Ethics in Ancient India."
Supervisor: Joel Brereton
Current Position: Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Religion Department at Wake Forest University
Faculty Profile


Yue Ma

Title of Dissertation: "The Catastrophe Remembered by the Non-Traumatic: Counternarratives on the Cultural Revolution in Chinese Literature of the 1990s"
Supervisor: Yvonne Chang

Peter Siegenthaler

Title of Dissertation: "Looking To The Past, Looking To The Future: The Localization of Japanese Historic Preservation, 1950-1975."
Supervisor: Susan Napier
Current Position: Senior Lecturer, Texas State University
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Robert Goodding

Title of Dissertation: "The Treatise On Liberation-In-Life Critical Edition And Annotated Translation Of The Jivanmuktiviveka Of Vidyaranya."
Supervisor: Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee
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Don Davis

Title of Dissertation: "The Boundaries Of Law:Tradition, 'Custom,' And Politics In Late Medieval Kerala."
Supervisor: Richard Lariviere
Current Position: Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at UT Austin
Faculty Profile

Feng-huang Ying

Title of Dissertation: "Reassessing Taiwan's Literary Field Of The 1950s."
Supervisor: Yvonne Chang
Current Position: Associate Professor, Taiwanese Literature, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan


Charles Marshall McArthur

Title of Dissertation: "Taiwanese Literature'' After The Nativist Movement: Construction of a Literary Identity Apart From A Chinese Model
Supervisor: Yvonne Chang
Current Position: Instructional Assistant Professor of Chinese at the University of Houston
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