Professors Emeriti

Vasudha Dalmia
Professor Emerita
(510) 642-3582

Office Location: 358B Dwinelle Hall
Office Hours: Tuesday 1-3pm

M.A. University of Cologne
Ph.D. Jawaharlal Nehru University 1985
Habilitation, University of Heidelberg 1996


Vasudha Dalmia is a Professor Emerita of Hindi and Modern South Asian Studies. The body of her work may be described as the study of cultural formations, grouped around four broad thematic clusters: the politics of religious discourse, transitional cultural phenomena of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the politics of the literature of the new nation-state, particularly of modern Indian theatre, and studies of the position of women in these transitions. Her monograph, The Nationalization of Hindu Traditions: Bharatendu Harischandra and Nineteenth Century Benaras (1997), studies the life and writings of a major Hindi writer of the nineteenth century as the focal point for an examination of the intricate links between politics, language, culture, religion and nationality. Her work on drama, Poetics, Plays and Performances: The Politics of Modern Indian Theatre (2006), tracing the genealogies of theatre in modern at the appropriation of ‘folk’ theatre as it sought to constitute itself anew after independence. Of her edited works, The Oxford India Hinduism Reader (2007) appeared most recently.


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George L. Hart
Professor Emeritus
(510) 642-8169

Office Location: 350B Dwinelle Hall

Ph.D. Harvard University (Sanskrit and Indian Studies) 1971


George Hart has taught all areas of Tamil literature as well as courses on Indian Civilization, Indian literature, and Indian religion. His latest publication (with Hank Heifetz) is an annotated translation of the great Tamil classic, The 400 Poems of Wisdom and War (The Purananuru). He has written extensively on premodern Tamil, its relationship to classical Sanskrit, and South Indian religion and culture. He has also translated several important works from Tamil, and his work was nominated for The American Book Award.


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Padmanabh S. Jaini
Professor Emeritus
(510) 642-9528

Ph.D. University of London


Padmanabh S. Jaini was Professor emeritus of Buddhist Studies and co-founder of the Group in Buddhist Studies. Before joining UC Berkeley in 1972, he taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He was the author of numerous monographs and articles on both Buddhism and Jainism. In the field of Buddhist Studies he is particularly well known for his work on Abhidharma and for his critical editions of the Abhidharmadīpa (a Vaibhāṣika treatise), the Sāratamā (a commentary on the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā), and a collection of apocroyphal Jātakas, the Paññāsa-Jātaka, that appeared in four volumes (text and translation). His collected essays have appeared in two volumes, and, recently, he has been honored by a Festschrift (2003) with contributions on early Buddhism and Jainism.

James A. Matisoff
Professor Emeritus
(510) 643-7617

Ph.D. University of California (Linguistics) 1967

James Matisoff, Professor of Linguistics and SSEAS, is a leading authority on Southeast Asian linguistics, especially on the diverse group of languages comprising the Tibeto-Burman family and has been on the Berkeley Linguistics faculty since 1970. He is the author of many books, monographs, and articles on Southeast Asian and general linguistics. He co-founded the annual International Conferences on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics in 1968. He is editor of the journal Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area. He has been Principal Investigator of the Sino-Tibetan Etymological Dictionary and Thesaurus project (STEDT) since 1987.

Bruce R. Pray
Professor Emeritus

Ph.D. University of Michigan

Joanna Williams
Professor Emerita

B.A. Swarthmore College, 1960
M.A. Radcliffe College, 1961
Ph.D. Harvard University, 1969


Professor Williams holds a joint appointment in History of Art and South and Southeast Asian Studies and is a member of the Group in Buddhist Studies. After childhood in the Middle West and education on the East Coast, she came to Berkeley in 1967 and would like to think of herself as a Native Californian. In 1984-86, on leave from Berkeley, she worked as Program Officer for Education & Culture, Ford Foundation, New Delhi Her research interests include both South Asian and Southeast Asian art. She wrote first on Indian sculpture and architecture in the 4-5th century (The Art of Gupta India, Empire and Province. Princeton: 1982) and then on the pictorial arts of Orissa (The Two-Headed Deer; Illustrations of the Ramayana in Orissa, Berkeley, 1996), and most recently on the court and rural paintings of Rajasthan (Kingdom of the Sun: the Arts of Mewar. San Francisco, 2007). She has written several articles on art in Indonesia, an area to which her next project will turn. Her lecture courses cover ancient Indian art, the Hindu temple, Indian miniature painting, and the arts of Southeast Asia. See her profile in the History of Art Department.


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