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Ishaan Sharma

Ishaan Sharma is a PhD Student in South & Southeast Asian Studies. His project is a study of the Udyogaparva (Book of Effort), the final pre-war book of the Mahābhārata. Specifically, he is interested in the relationship between Artha and Dharma in the book and…

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Akshita Todi

Akshita is interested in studying women’s roles in Hindu communal, religious and nationalist politics through a focus on emotion as a category of analysis. To this end, she will focus on popular, vernacular material read as part of ritual performances in post-independence India – particularly…

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Janet Um

Janet Um studies the literature and literary histories of premodern South Asia. Her dissertation explores the relationship between narrative, literary genre, and conceptions of the author in the Sanskrit literary prose works (gadyakāvya) attributed to seventh-century poet and theorist Daṇḍin. Her research interests include narrative traditions…

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Petra Lamberson

Petra studies Buddhist thought in India, especially early Buddhism and Mahāyāna, and Buddhist narrative literature of Nepal. Her languages are Sanskrit, Pāli, and Classical Tibetan. She holds a BA in Theatre from Lewis and Clark College and an MA in Buddhist Classics from Dharma Realm…

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Daniel Owen

Daniel Owen is a graduate student in UC Berkeley’s South & Southeast Asian Studies MA/Ph.D. program with a designated emphasis in Critical Theory. His work largely focuses on Indonesian poetry and poetics from the 1960s to the present and poetry’s entanglements with social change throughout…

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Christian Gilberti

Christian Gilberti is a Ph.D. candidate in South and Southeast Asian Studies. His primary academic interest is in late 19th to mid-20th century Burmese cultural history and politics. His dissertation will focus on the growth of a Bamar ethnic cultural nationalism in colonial Burma from 1895-1948…

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Khenpo Yeshi

Khenpo Yeshi received a B.A. in Religious Studies from UC Berkeley (2012), an M.A. in South and Southeast Asian Studies from UC Berkeley (2017), and is now a doctoral candidate. His research focuses on Tibetan Buddhism and the early development of the Dzogchen Heart Essence…

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Sophia Van Zyle Warshall

Sophia studies premodern Indonesian history. Her dissertation examines miniature Buddhist reliquaries (stūpikas) from c. 9-11th century Java as a means to add granularity to our understanding of the movement of people and ideas through the maritime trade routes of Southeast Asia.

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Paul Thomas

Paul is a Ph.D. candidate in Buddhist studies, with interests in Indian Buddhism (5th c. BCE – 14th c. CE), Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism (particularly medieval Chan), as well as Indology, specifically Sanskrit literature, Śaivism, and other philosophies and religions of pre-modern India.  He is…

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John Pickens

John Pickens hails from the small town of Bristol, Vermont. At the age of 15, he travelled with his family on a four-month journey to Asia. The formative trip started in Nepal, and then continued overland through Thailand, Malaysia, and the Indonesian archipelago. After completing…

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