Graduate Students

This is not a comprehensive directory — inclusion is voluntary. If you are a DSSEAS graduate student and would like to be listed, or have your listing updated, please e-mail the department chair.

Anurag Advani

Mughal history; social aberrance in the Mughal world; historicizing the subaltern in precolonial South Asia; early modernity, Persian and Urdu; poetry, gender and agency; Sufism. 

anurag_advani [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Lisa Brooks

Sanskrit, Ayurveda, critical theories of gender, sexuality, race and subjectivity, history of medicine and science, STS, sensory history

labrooks [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Katherine (Katie) Bruhn

Indonesian modern and contemporary art; creative industries & creative economy; social practice in art; cultural policy; Southeast Asian studies

katiebruhn [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Melissa Carlson

Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art; national identity; censorship; Southeast Asian Studies; Myanmar

melissa_carlson [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Alex Ciolac

Indian Tantra in its many embodiments. Yantras. Jain Stotras. Sanskrit.

magnetic_movements [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Ryan Damron

Buddhist and Hindu Tantra; antinomian forms of religiosity; Sanskrit, Tibetan, Apabhramsa and Bengali literary traditions

rdamron [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Yusmarni Djalius

Southeast Asian Studies; intellectual and cultural history; Indonesia; Indonesia-US relations; Islam; Minangkabau

djalius [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Nicole Ferreira

History of medieval and early modern South Asia; Indo-Afghan identity and ethnogenesis; patronage, writing, and circulation of texts; practices of history writing in Sultanate and Mughal India; Persian.

n [dot] ferreira [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Kashi Gomez

I focus on late medieval and early modern Sanskrit literary culture. My research engages questions about family networks, intellectual transmission, and gender in the Vijayanagara period and Thanjavur court; Other interests include Kashmir, satire, literary theory, and all things kāvya.

kashi [dot] gomez [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez

I am a Ph.D. candidate in South and Southeast Asian Studies with a designated emphasis in Science and Technology Studies. My dissertation project is a history of botany in the Philippines (1873 - 1921) that relies on Spanish, U.S., and Tagalog archives. My research interests include histories of science; comparative Spanish and U.S. colonialisms; Spanish and Tagalog languages; and Philippine and Southeast Asian craft technologies.

gutierrezk [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Megan Hewitt

Southeast Asian Studies with emphases in Indonesian Languages and Literatures, Social and Cultural Movements, Arts and Activism, Critical Pedagogies, Cultural History, and Agrarian Transformation.

meganrobin [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Thiti Jamkajornkeiat

Inter-Southeast Asian Knowledge Production, Intellectual history of Marxist thoughts in (Southeast) Asia with an emphasis on Indonesia, Third Worldism, Bandung Internationalism, Postcoloniality, Global Critical Theory, the Intersected Questions of Life, Environment, Land, Energy, Food, Science, Technology, Infrastructure, Affect, and Critique in Asia.

tj [dot] zedrick [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Priya Kothari

Sanskrit, Hindi (including Braj and Avadhi) and Gujarati language and literature; receptive histories; theories of religion and religious experience; bhakti traditions; Puṣṭimārga and Vallabha samprādaya; the use of authoritative texts in contemporary social and religious practice.

pkothari [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Petra Lambertson

Graduate Student

petra [dot] lambertson [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Padma D. Maitland
Hindi travel literature; modern Buddhism in India; art and architecture; conservation and heritage; countercultural exchanges between India and California.
John Pickens

Sanskrit and Tibetan languages. Indian and Tibetan Buddhist ritual history, particularly the development of the tantric preliminary practices.

johnpickens [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Sohini Pillai

Premodern Hindi (Braj Bhasha and Avadhi) and Tamil literature; vernacular retellings of the Mahabharata; the Sanskrit epics; comparative literature; bhakti traditions; representations of South Asian literature in performance, television and film.

sohini [dot] pillai [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Kellie Powell
I hope to shed light on the development of tantra across South and Southeast Asia using a multidisciplinary approach. My research interests include: trade and the exchange of ideas, archaeology of religious sites, manuscript culture, development of new ritual technologies, and buddhist pilgrimage. I work in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Pāli.
Omar Qashoa

Graduate Student

omar_qashoa [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Sophearith Siyonn

Southeast Asian Studies, Cambodia, Sanskrit

Paul Thomas


paul_thomas [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Janet Um

Sanskrit literature and literary histories; modes of narration in premodern South Asia; urban sociality.

janetum [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Sophia Van Zyle Warshall

Maritime Southeast Asian history of the 5th-13th centuries; Indonesia; Indian Ocean; epigraphy;  archaeology; material culture; religion; Buddhism; trade routes and networks of exchange; Indonesian, Sanskrit and Old Javanese.

warshall [at]
Rebecca Whittington

Bengali, Tamil, translation studies, comparative literature

rebeccadiane87 [at] gmail [dot] com
Kankan Xie

Left-wing intellectual networks in the late-colonial Malay World (currently Indonesia and Malaysia); Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia; Dutch colonial history; governance and rural development in contemporary Indonesia.

xiekankan [at] berkeley [dot] edu
Khenpo Yeshi
Tibetan Buddhism, Early Dzogchen development.