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Faculty


Core Faculty



Richard B. Barnett
Associate Professor, Department of History (Early modern South Asia, contemporary Pakistan)
Director, 1982-85

John Campbell
Director, Contemplative Sciences Center

Griffith Chaussée
Senior Lecturer, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures (Hindi and Urdu language and literature)


Mrinalini Chakravorty
Associate Professor, Department of English (Postcolonial Literature and Theory)


John Echeverri-Gent
Associate Professor, Department of Politics (Political Economy and Public Policy)

Daniel Ehnbom
Associate Professor, Department of Art History (South Asian Art)

Director, South Asia Center


Mehr Farooqi
Associate Professor, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures (South Asian literature in Hindi, Urdu, and English)


David Germano
Professor, Department of Religious Studies (Tibetan studies, Buddhist studies, Tantric studies, Tibetan language and literature)


Robert A. Hueckstedt
Professor, Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (Sanskrit and Hindi language and literature)

Alireza Khorangy
Assistant Professor, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures (Persian language and literature)


Ravindra S. Khare
Professor, Department of Anthropology (India, social anthropology, symbolism, food studies, popular culture)


Karen C. Lang
Professor, Department of Religious Studies (Indian/Theravada Buddhist studies, Sanskrit, and Pali)

Karen C. Lang is Professor of Buddhist Studies and Indian Religions and Director of the Center for South Asian Studies. As a member of UVA's Religious Studies Department since 1982, she has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on Buddhist history and philosophy, including seminars on Buddhist and Hindu Ethics, Jainism, Mahayana Budddhism, and Buddhism and Gender, as well as reading courses in Sanskrit, Pali, and Tibetan. She has received Fulbright, NEH, and AIIS fellowships. Her publications include Four Illusions: Candrakirti's Advice on the Bodhisattva Path, Aryadeva on the Bodhisattva’s Cultivation of Merit and Knoweldge (translated into German in 2007), and numerous articles on Buddhist philosophy and literature. Professor Lang was a member of the translation team that produced the first English translation of Tsongkhapa’s The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. Her current research and translation interests focus on the work of 7th-century Buddhist philosopher Candrakirti.

Christine Mahoney
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy and Politics

Dr. Mahoney's research focuses on advocacy and activism; specifically she studies the framing, messaging and strategic decisions of civil society organizations seeking to change public policy.

Among her current major research initiatives is a projects that looks at global advocacy on behalf of the displaced.  This research is based, in part, on fieldwork in 7 of the largest protracted displacement crises worldwide (Bhutan, Burma, Colombia, Croatia, Sri Lanka, Somalia, and Uganda)

Philip McEldowney
South Asian Bibliographer and Librarian for Anthropology and Religious Studies, Alderman Library


Farzaneh Milani
Raymond J. Nelson Professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures (Persian language and literature, Islamic women and culture)

Mashad Mohit

Lecturer, Middle Easter and South Asian languages and Cultures (Persian)
Neeti Nair
Associate Professor, Department of History (Modern South Asia)


John Nemec
Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies (Indian Religions)

My research centers on the Indian intellectual and cultural history, particularly the philosophy and literature of the Kashmir Valley of the ninth to twelfth centuries, a period when the Valley was perhaps the most important intellectual center of South Asia. My areas of specialization are Tantric (i.e. Indian Esoteric) Studies, Sanskrit, and South Asian Religions. A full CV and .pdf copies of selected publications may be found through the following link: http://virginia.academia.edu/JNemec

Tsetan Nepali
Lecturer East Asian Languages and Cultures (Tibetan)


Arnico Panday
Research Assistant Professor, Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Evironmental Science

Geeta Patel
Associate Professor, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures and Studies in Women and Gender

Bradford L. Phillips
Assistant Director, Contemplative Sciences Center

Ashok Rajput
Lecturer, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures (Hindi and Urdu Language and literature)


Abdulaziz A. Sachedina
Professor, Department of Religious Studies (Islamic and Middle East Studies:legal-ethical studies, bioethics, religion, and politics)
Associate Director, 1982-85

Kurtis Schaeffer
Professor, Department of Religious Studies

A graduate of Harvard University's Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies (2000), Kurtis R. Schaeffer is Professor in the History of Religions section of the Department of Religious Studies, and currently serves as Associate Chairman of the Department. Before coming to the University of Virginia in 2005, he was a member of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama from 2000 to 2005. Schaeffer's work focuses on the cultural and intellectual history of Tibet. His recent publications include The Culture of the Book in Tibet (Columbia University Press, 2009) and, with Leonard van der Kuijp, An Early Tibetan Survey of Buddhist Literature (Harvard Oriental Series 64, 2009). Schaeffer is a past co-director of the Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group in the American Academy of Religion, and is currently leading a seminar on "Religion and the Literary in Tibet" at the AAR. He also serves as the Book Review Editor for the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. He is the recipient of Fulbright, Ryskamp, and Whiting fellowships. His current projects include a book on the idea of the Dalai Lama, a translation of an eighteenth century Bhutanese life story of the Buddha, and a study of traditional literary criticism and poetics in Tibet.


Sheetal Sekhri
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics



Associate Faculty



Leslie Blackhall
Associate Professor, Medical School, Internal Medicine (Tibetan Buddhism and Medicine)


John Bonvillian
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology (Child Development)


Phoebe Crisman
Associate Professor, School of Architecture; Associate Dean for Research

Frederick H. Damon
Professor, Department of Anthropology (Economic anthropology, social change in South Asia)


Scott K. Deveaux
Associate Professor, Department of Music (Ethnomusicology)

Nathaniel Garson
Research Assistant, Tibetan Himalayan Digital Library


Paul Groner
Professor, Department of Religious Studies (Buddhist studies)


Leigh Grossman
Professor, Medical School (Pediatrics)


Richard Guerrant
Professor, Medical School (Infectious Diseases)


Jonathan Haidt
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology (Psychological anthropology, emotion and morality)


Yunsheng Huang
Associate Professor, School of Architecture (Architecture of Asia)


Michelle Kisliuk
Associate Professor, Music Department (Ethnomusicology)


Michael Krepon
Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Politics (Security in South Asia)


Shawn Lyons
Dean/Associate Professor, Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (Central Asia)

David Newman
Research Assistant, THDL


Marga Odahowski
Director of Studies, International Residential College

Sonal Shradkumar Pandya
Assistant Professor, Department of Politics

Bryan Pfaffenberger
Associate Professor of Technology, Culture and Communications, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Sri Lanka, anthropology of technology)
Associate Director, 1987-89

Kamalini Ramdas
Associate Professor, Darden Graduate School of Business

Sandhya Shukla
Associate Professor, Department of English


Nawang Thokmey
Sr. Tech/Prog Support, Alderman Library (Tibetan Collection)

Kath Weston
Professor, Department of Anthropology and Director, Studies in Women and Gender (Andaman and Nicobar Islands)

Peter Waldman
Professor, School of Architecture


Dorothy Wong
Associate Professor, Art History (Chinese Buddhist art)


Steve Weinberger
Research Assistant, THDL


Muhammad S. Yusuf
Reference Assistant, Alderman Library (South Asian affairs)



Emeritus Faculty And Visiting Scholars

Cynthia Benton-Groner
Retired Associate Director


Alfred P. Fernbach
Professor Emeritus, Department of Politics (Foreign policy and contemporary politics)

Harold Gould
Visiting Scholar, Center for South Asian Studies (Political anthropology, South Asian civilization).


Walter Hauser
Professor Emeritus, Department of History (Twentieth-century India, peasant movements, electoral politics)
Director, 1976-79


Jeffrey Hopkins
Professor Emeritus, Department of Religious Studies (Tibetan studies, Tantrism, Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan language)
Director, 1979-1982 and 1985-94


Peter Hook
Professor, Visiting Scholar, Center for South Asian Studies, (Linguistics of South Asian languages)


Murrary Milner
Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology


Wallace E. Reed
Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Environmental Sciences (Urban and Economic Geography)


John Roberts
Assoc. Prof. Emeritus, Sanskrit & Hindi


H. L. Seneviratne
Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology (Sri Lanka, social theory, Theravada Buddhism, nationalism, and ethnicity)