Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Ph.D. Students Perform Research Abroad

Thu, June 30, 2005

Kukhee Choo is performing research for her dissertation which involves the history of Japanese manga/animation and how it has evolved into a national medium in the global sphere. Kukhee is the only person from UT to receive this prestigious award.

Neil Dalal is exploring current debates in the study of mysticism in the context of the textual and living Advaita Vedanta tradition. He is analyzing Advaita's understanding of self-luminous consciousness and its vital role in Advaita's view of liberation and liberating knowledge as a non-experiential event by tracing these concepts through textual sources and conducting ethnographic field research in Advaita Vedanta centers in India.

Mark McClish's Ph.D. research focuses on the role the state played in the ancient Indian religious milieu. Specifically, he is interested in how the government exercised its political authority to the benefit or detriment of diverse religious ideas, practices and communities. His primary source in this endeavor is the sole surviving treatise on political science from the period, the Arthasastra of Kautilya.
He reports, "As this text is unique in the literature, there is much in it that is not readily understandable to the modern scholar. For help in this regard we must turn to the commentaries produced on the Arthasastra in the centuries after its composition. The only non-fragmentary commentary available on the text is written in early Old Malayalam, the obscure and difficult medieval form of the modern language Malayalam. I am travelling to the state of Kerala to study this language and text with linguists and philologists at the University of Kerala. Equipped with this expertise, I will be able to produce authoritative work on the Arthasastra and its historical era."

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