Current PhD Students

  • Cicely Bonnin
  • Michael Fiden
  • Harsha Gautam, Dept. of Religious Studies
  • Sravani Kanamarlapudi
  • Evan LeBarre, Dept. of Religious Studies
  • Sugopi Palakala

PhD Graduates


Jeffrey Scott Wilson, Jr.—Title of Dissertation: Aśvatthāman in the Mahābhārata: Narrative, Cosmology, and Counter-Normativity
Supervisors: Donald Davis & Joel Brereton
Current Position: Instructor, Dallas College


Andrea Gutiérrez—Title of Dissertation: “A Genre of its Own: A History of Pākaśāstra and Other Culinary Writing of Early India.”
Supervisor: Martha Selby
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of Asian Studies, UT-Austin


Aaron SherradenTitle of Dissertation: “The Many Deaths of Śambūka: A History of Variation in the Rāmāyaṇa Tradition.”
Supervisor: Donald Davis
Current Position: Project Manager, Open Educational Resources and Credentialing Exams for South Asian LCTLs, South Asia Institute, UT-Austin


Kathleen LongwatersTitle of Dissertation: “Approaching Death: Responses To Dying in Two South Asian Medical Traditions.”
Supervisor: Martha Selby and Syed Akbar Hyder
Current Position: Tutor, St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Hillary Anne LangbergTitle of Dissertation: “Invoking the Goddess: The Role of Female Deities in Mahayana Indian Buddhism of the Middle Period.”
Supervisors: Oliver Freiberger and Janice Leoshko
Current Position: Public Scholar to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art


Michael Brattus JonesTitle of Dissertation: “Agriculture and Religion in Ancient India.”
Supervisor: Joel Brereton
Current Position: Lecturer in Global Humanities and Religions, Western Washington University


Manomohini DuttaTitle of Dissertation: “Inheritance, Property and Women in the Dayabhaga.”
Supervisors: Donald Davis and Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Assistant Professor in the Humanities and Languages division of the School of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad University, India

Matthew MilliganTitle of Dissertation: “Of Rags and Riches: Indian Buddhist Patronage Networks in the Early Historic Period.”
Supervisors: Janice Leoshko and Oliver Freiberger
Current Position: Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion, Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas)


Daniel RudmannTitle of Dissertation: “Carried Meaning in the Mahabharata.”
Supervisors: Martha Selby and Joel Brereton
Current Position: Researcher at ScholarLed

Amy L. Hyne-SutherlandTitle of Dissertation: “Speaking of Madness: A Comparative Analysis of Discourses on Pathologized Deviance in Contemporary and Classical India.
Supervisors: Oliver Freiberger, Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Development Officer, Carson Tahoe Health Foundation


Dean Accardi—Title of Dissertation: “Asceticism, Gender, And The State: Saints Of The Kashmiri Sultanate, 1550-1650.”
Supervisor: Oliver Freiberger
Current Position: Assistant Professor of History, Connecticut College

Vibha ShetiyaTitle of Dissertation: “Redrawing the Boundaries: Sita and Modern Telugu Ramayanas.”
Supervisor: Cynthia Talbot
Current Position: Instructor for Hindi, Department of Linguistics, University of Pittsburgh


Elliott McCarter—Title of Dissertation: “Kurukshetra: Bending The Narrative Into Place.”
Supervisor: Joel Brereton
Current Position: Senior Lecturer of Hindi-Urdu at Vanderbilt University


Urmila Patil—Title of Dissertation:  “Conflict, Identity and Narratives: The Brahman Communities of Western India from the Seventeenth through the Nineteenth Centuries.”
Supervisor:  Patrick Olivelle and Cynthia Talbot
Current Position: Instructor, Loyola Marymount University


David Brick—Title of Dissertation: “The Danakanda (Book on Gifting) of the Krtyakalpataru: A Critical Edition, Annotated Translation, and Introduction.”
Supervisor:  Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Sanskrit Literature at the University of Michigan

Neil Dalal—Title of Dissertation: “Texts Beyond Words: Contemplation and Practice in Sankara’s Advaita Vedanta”
Supervisors:  Stephen Phillips and Joel Brereton
Current Position: Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, University of Alberta
Faculty Profile

Mark McClish—Title of Dissertation: “Political Brahmanism And The State: A Compositional History Of The Arthasastra”
Supervisor: Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Northwestern University


Gardner Harris—Title of Dissertation: “Obtaining Grace: Locating The Origins Of A Tamil Saiva Precept.”
Supervisor: Martha Selby
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Religion at Hampden-Sydney College

Matthew Sayers—Title of Dissertation: “Feeding The Ancestors: Ancestor Worship In Ancient Hinduism And Buddhism.”
Supervisors: Joel Brereton and Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Lebanon Valley College
Faculty Profile


Steven Lindquist—Title of Dissertation: “In Search of a Sage: Yajnavalkya and Ancient Indian Literary Memory.”
Supervisor: Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Associate Professor of Religion, Southern Methodist University

Jarrod Whitaker—Title of Dissertation: “Drinking Status, Wearing Duty: Magic, Power, and Warrior Ethics in Ancient India.”
Supervisor: Joel Brereton
Current Position: Professor, Department for the Study of Religions, Wake Forest University
Faculty Profile


Robert Goodding—Title of Dissertation: “The Treatise On Liberation-In-Life Critical Edition And Annotated Translation Of The Jivanmuktiviveka Of Vidyaranya.”
Supervisor: Patrick Olivelle
Current Position: Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee
Faculty Profile


Donald Davis—Title of Dissertation: “The Boundaries Of Law: Tradition, ‘Custom,’ And Politics In Late Medieval Kerala.”
Supervisor: Richard Lariviere
Current Position: Professor & Chair, Department of Asian Studies, UT-Austin
Faculty Profile