Visiting Scholars


  • Rama Watumull Distinguished Visiting Scholar
  • in the Department of Theatre and Dance
  • Fall 2011

Dr. Shanmuganathan is a Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Chennai. True to the saying that a tradition lives when handed down by an exacting guru to a dedicated disciple, she inherited the classical tradition from her renowned gurus, Smt. Shanta and Sri. V .P. Dhananjayan.  The spirit of enquiry nurtured within the hallowed portals of her institution Bharata Kalanjali and her quest for answers through the labyrinth of Indian literary tradition and philosophical thought, culminated in a doctoral degree. In 2002 Anita completed her doctorate in “Semiosis of classical dance (Bharatanatyam) in Tamil culture from 1930” from the University of Madras.  She furthered her dream of a holistic performing arts school with AEKA ACADEMY established under the auspices of Vaels’ Group Of Institutions (, where children and adults of all age groups can embrace the opportunity to learn drawing, painting, classical dance, music, clay modeling and sculpture.


  • Rama Watumull Distinguished Visiting Scholar
  • in the Department of Philosophy
  • Spring 2010

Dr. Sanil Viswanathan Nair (preferred: Sanil V.) is Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India. He was a Charles Wallace Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, University of Liverpool, U.K and Directeur d’études Associés, at Maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris. Dr. Sanil received a degree in Engineering and a postgraduate diploma in Journalism and then moved on to get a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur. His research interests lie in Continental Philosophy, including Philosophical Aesthetics and Philosophy of Technology. He works on art and technology in Classical India, Asian Cinema, Indian Theatre, and Phenomenology, and is interested in Kant, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Derrida, and Deleuze. Besides publishing in English, Dr. Sanil writes in Malayalam on 19th- and 20th-century social movements and culture.


  • Arthur Lynn Andrew’s Distinguished Visiting Scholar
  • in the Department of History
  • Fall 2009

Dr. Amin is professor of history at the University of Dhaka , Bangladesh. She studied History and Sociology at Dhaka, Cambridge and Boston. Her specialization is social history/ women’s history of 19th and 20th century colonial Bengal. Her PhD thesis was published as a monograph The World of Muslim Women in Colonial Bengal: 1876-1939by E J Brill (Leiden/new York), in 1996. The book was awarded the Atahar Hussain Gold Medal for best book in women’s studies, by the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, for the year 1997. Her work has been published extensively at home and abroad on the history of women, transition to modernity, identity, etc. in this region.


  • Rama Watumull Distinguished Visiting Scholar
  • in the Department of Political Science
  • Spring 2008

A member of the “Subaltern Studies” editorial collective, Dr. Pandian recently published Brahmin & Non-Brahmin: Genealogies of the Tamil Political Present with Permanent Black. Dr. Pandian is Visiting Fellow of the Sarai Programme, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi and has taught at numerous universities in India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He sits on the New York-based Social Science Research Council’s South Asia Advisory Panel. His other book publications include Muslims, Dalits, and the Fabrications of History, edited with Shail Mayaram and Ajay Skaria (2006), The Image Trap: M G Ramachandran in Film and Politics, published in 1992, and The Political Economy of Agrarian Change: Nanchilnadu 1880-1939, published in 1990.


  • Rama Watumull Distinguished Visiting Scholar
  • in the Women’s Studies Department
  • Spring 2006

Charu Gupta is Associate Professor of History at Delhi University. She graduated from Miranda House, University of Delhi, and received her PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. She joined the Department of History at Delhi University in 2009, after many years of teaching at a college at Delhi University.  In addition to spending a semester as the Rama Watamull Distinguished Indian Visiting Scholar at UHM, she has been Visiting Associate Professor at Yale University, and Visiting Faculty at the University of Washington.  She has held fellowships at several prestigious institutions including the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library in Delhi, the Social Science Research Council in New York, and the Wellcome Institute in London. Her publications include the books Sexuality, Obscenity, Community: Women, Muslims and the Hindu Public in Colonial India (co-published by Permanent Black, Delhi & Palgrave, New York, 2002) andContested Coastlines: Fisherfolk, Nations and Borders in South Asia (Routledge, Delhi and London, 2008), and several articles on gender, masculinity, sexuality, fundamentalism and nationalism in various national and international journals. She is currently working on a new project, “Dalit Masculinities and Femininities.”