Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Ph.D. alumni

As of August 2019, the Department of Asian Studies has 46 PhD alumni. 87% are in academic positions, of which 55% are tenure-track. 87% of students who went on the job market upon graduation have positions related to their degree.  


Mung Ting Chung

Title of Dissertation: "Writings Beyond Borders: Hong Kong Literary Production in the Early Cold War Era."
Supervisor: Sun-Sheng Yvonne Chang
Current Position: Instructor, School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Culture, University of Calgary

Aaron Sherraden

Title of Dissertation: "The Many Deaths of Śambūka: A History of Variation in the Rāmāyaṇa Tradition."
Supervisor: Donald Davis
Current Position: 


Kathleen Longwaters

Title of Dissertation: "Approaching Death: Responses To Dying in Two South Asian Medical Traditions."
Supervisor: Martha Selby and Syed Akbar Hyder
Current Position: Tenure-track faculty at St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Mu-Min Shih

Title of Dissertation: "The 1990s Gender Progressiveness in Taiwan."
Supervisor: Chien-Hsin Tsai
Current Position: Project manager at the Humanistic Education Foundation in Taiwan

Ming-Huei Wang

Title of Dissertation: "Performing the Lyrical: Lyrical Essay and the Written Vernacular Mandarin Tradition in Postwar Taiwan."
Supervisor: Sun-Sheng Yvonne Chang
Current Position: 

Hillary Anne Langberg

Title of Dissertation: "Invoking the Goddess: The Role of Female Deities in Mahayana Indian Buddhism of the Middle Period."
Supervisor (s): Oliver Freiberger and Janice Leoshko
Current Position: 
Visiting Lecturer Buddhist Art at The University of Texas at Austin (Fall 2019); Visiting Lecturer in Hindu Studies at Bard College (Spring 2020)


Michael Brattus Jones

Title of Dissertation: "Agriculture and Religion in Ancient India."
Supervisor: Joel Brereton
Current Position: Lecturer in Global Humanities and Religions, Western Washington University


Gregory Maxwell Bruce

Title of Dissertation: "Classical Islam Through Indian Eyes: The Many Histories of Shibli Nomani." 
Supervisor: Akbar Hyder
Current Position: Lecturer of Urdu, Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Manomohini Dutta

Title of Dissertation: "Inheritance, Property and Women in the Dayabhaga." 
Supervisors: Donald Davis and Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Assistant Professor in the Humanities and Languages division of the School of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad University, India

Tien-wen Lin

Title of Dissertation:"Consuming Koreanness in Contemporary Taiwan: Regional Re-Alignment in Post-Cold War East Asia." 
Supervisor:Yvonne Chang and Robert Oppenheim
Current Position: Adjunct Professor at three Taiwanese Universities: Ming Chuan University, Tsinghua Univ. and the Taipei University of Education

Matthew Milligan

Title of Dissertation: "Of Rags and Riches: Indian Buddhist Patronage Networks in the Early Historic Period." 
Supervisors: Janice Leoshko and Oliver Freiberger
Current Position: Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion, Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas)

Nikola Rajić

Title of Dissertation:"Majestic Presence: Narrating the Transgender Self in 21st-Century Tamilakam." 
Supervisor: Martha Selby and Akbar Hyder
Current Position: Associate Academic Advisor/Lecturer, Department of Asian Studies, University of Texas at Austin


Imran Khan

Title of Dissertation: "A Room of Her Own: Romance, Resistance, and Feminist Thought in Modern Urdu Poetry." 
Supervisor: Akbar Hyder
Current Position: Adjunct Associate Professor, Austin Community College Office of Student Development

Daniel Rudmann

Title of Dissertation: "Carried Meaning in the Mahabharata." 
Supervisors: Martha Selby and Joel Brereton
Current Position: Researcher at ScholarLed

Maude Keely Sutton

Title of Dissertation: "In the Forest of Sand: History, Devotion and Memory in South Asian Muslim Poetry." 
Supervisors: Martha Selby and Akbar Hyder
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Birmingham-Southern College Department of Religion

Amy L. Hyne-Sutherland

Title of Dissertation: "Speaking of Madness: A Comparative Analysis of Discourses on Pathologized Deviance in Contemporary and Classical India.
Supervisors: Oliver Freiberger, Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Development Officer, Carson Tahoe Health Foundation


Dean Accardi

Title of Dissertation: "Asceticism, Gender, And The State: Saints Of The Kashmiri Sultanate, 1550-1650." 
Supervisor: Oliver Freiberger
Current Position: Assistant Professor of History, Connecticut College

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: Assistant Professor of Religion and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Oberlin College

Peter Knapczyk

Title of Dissertation: "Crafting The Cosmopolitan Elegy In North India: Poets, Patrons, And The Urdu Marsiyah, 1707-1857." 
Supervisor: 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." 
Supervisor: Kirsten Cather
Current Position: Adjunct Faculty, School of Arts and Humanities, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, St. Edwards in Austin, TX

Vibha Shetiya

Title of Dissertation: "Redrawing the Boundaries: Sita and Modern Telugu Ramanyanas." 
Supervisor: Cynthia Talbot
Current Position: Instructor for Hindi, Department of Linguistics, University of Pittsburgh

Nathan Tabor

Title of Dissertation: "A Market for Speech: Poetry Recitation in Late Mughal India, 1690-1810." 
Supervisor: Akbar Hyder
Current Position: Assistant Professor of History at Western Michigan University


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: Senior Lecturer of Hindi-Urdu at Vanderbilt 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: Assistant Professor of Sanskrit Literature at the University of Michigan

Neil Dalal

Title of Dissertation: "Texts Beyond Words: Contemplation and Practice in Sankara's Advaita Vedanta''
Supervisors:  Stephen Phillips and Joel Brereton 
Current Position: Associate 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 Religious Studies at Northwestern University


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: Assistant Professor of Religion at Hampden-Sydney College

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
Faculty Profile


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
Faculty Profile


Don Davis

Title of Dissertation: "The Boundaries Of Law:Tradition, 'Custom,' And Politics In Late Medieval Kerala."
Supervisor: Richard Lariviere
Current Position: 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
Faculty Profile