Areas of Study and Research
PhD, Columbia University
Anand Venkatkrishnan is an intellectual historian of South Asian religion. His first book, Love in the Time of Scholarship: The Bhāgavata Purāṇa in Indian Intellectual History, explores how popular religion shaped the everyday lives of Sanskrit scholars in early modern India. It shows that the vernacular-language, quotidian practices of bhakti reshaped writing in elite systems of Sanskrit learning. He is at work on two additional research projects. The first, Searching for Sarasvati, is an alternative history of American Indology that focuses on those written out of its past and present. Engaging with classical Sanskrit literature, gender and sexuality studies, African American history, and Asian American studies, it explores the question of whether how you live matters to how you read. The other, Left-Hand Practice, concerns a group of loosely affiliated religious intellectuals in modern India involved with the political left. Each, in their own way, articulated a critique of modernist, bourgeois Hinduism.
Photo credit: Erielle Bakkum Photography