The election for the RISA Steering Committee is now open!

We have an excellent group of scholars standing for election this year for four open seats. You can find their names and biographies below.

All current AAR members are encouraged to vote. Please review the candidates’ information and cast your vote by sending four choices to Ms. Anna Lee White (, who will receive and tally the results.Â
Voting will remain open until Friday, November 8 at midnight EST; results will be announced on RISA-L the following week.

Candidates (in alphabetical order by last name)

Vishwa Adluri
I am a Professor in the Philosophy Department at Hunter College, New York, with over eighteen years of teaching experience. I work primarily on classical Hinduism, especially the Sanskrit epics and Purāṇas. I have published two books on Indology and on textual criticism that have significantly moved along the conversation in religious studies. I have also made important contributions towards rethinking the institutional nature of our scholarly enterprise. I would like to create greater opportunities for students and early career academics, mindful of the career pressures they face. I promise a more equitable and transparent process in the selection of panels. Nearly all of my over two dozen books, articles, reviews, and papers are available at

Joel Bordeaux
Joel Bordeaux is a Visiting Scholar at Stony Brook University and an American Institute of Bangladesh Studies Senior Fellow. His monograph in progress, Raja Krishnacandra: Hindu Kingship and Myth-Making in Early Modern Bengal, explores how an eighteenth-century Bengali raja named Krishnacandra Ray — famed as a patron of Sanskrit, a champion of Shakta traditions, and the alleged architect of a 1756 conspiracy that birthed British colonialism in the subcontinent — passed into myth, and what that process suggests about the formation of regional and sectarian identities. His other interests at the moment include sacrifice, ritual magic, literary exegesis, and Hindu-Buddhist interactions. And a webpage of sorts:

Arun Brahmbhatt
Arun Brahmbhatt is Assistant Professor of South Asian Religions at St. Lawrence University. My research is focused on the mobilizations of Sanskrit in colonial and contemporary Hindu traditions. My current book project, Scholastic Publics: Sanskrit and the Swaminarayan Sampraday, draws on textual, archival, and ethnographic data to examine the role of scholastic debates in community formation, particularly through contestations of orthodoxy. I teach more broadly on South Asian religious literatures and visual cultures. As an active member of the AAR since 2008, I welcome the opportunity to develop a robust and inclusive conference program for the RISA section.

Gudrun Bühnemann
Gudrun Bühnemann is a Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on Hindu-Buddhist interactions in South Asia and the relationship between texts and images. Her recent books include Eighty-four Āsanas in Yoga: A Survey of Traditions (2nd edition, 2011); The Life of the Buddha: Buddhist and Śaiva Iconography and Visual Narratives in Artists’ Sketchbooks from Nepal (LIRI, 2012), Śākyamuni’s Return Journey to Lumbinī (lumbinīyātrā): A Study of a Popular Theme in Newar Buddhist Art and Literature (LIRI, 2015) and The Iconography of Hindu Tantric Deities (First Indian edition, revised, Aditya Prakashan, 2016).

Gregory Clines
Gregory Clines received is PhD from Harvard University in 2018 and is currently Assistant Professor of Religion at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, where he teaches introductory classes in Asian religions and seminars in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. His research interests include Jain literature in Sanskrit and north Indian vernaculars, South Asian epic literature, Sanskrit aesthetics and literary theory, and early modern religion and literature. Gregory has published in South Asian History and Culture and Religions, and his current book project traces the changing attitudes towards aesthetics and the cultivation of moral persons as evidenced by Jain Rāma narratives from the seventh and fifteenth centuries.

Bradley S. Clough
I’m an independent scholar whose primary research is on monastic and soteriological matters in early Indian Buddhism and the ongoing Theravada tradition in Sri Lanka. I have 25 years experience teaching a variety of South Asian Religions courses at a small liberal arts college (Bard College), a major international institution (American University in Cairo), and a flagship state university (University of Montana). I think the steering committee would benefit from having a Buddhism specialist with such a rich and diverse background, who has also published much on aspects of Gandhi’s spirituality and Hindu-Buddhist encounters in both India and Sri Lanka.

Steven E. Lindquist
Steven E. Lindquist is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Asian Studies at Southern Methodist University. He specializes in Hinduism, particularly Sanskrit literature and ascetic religious traditions. His publications include such topics as storytelling in early philosophical Sanskrit literature, numismatics and sacred kingship, and riddle-poems on the nature of the self. More broadly, he is interested in early Hinduism, intellectual and material history, comparative asceticism, literary theory, and documentary filmmaking. He has written a book on the literary life of Yajnavalkya and is currently working on a monograph on Upaniṣadic narrative. Lindquist has been a member of AAR since 2002 and previously served on the Hinduism Group steering committee. More info at:

Bhakti Mamtora
I am an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the College of Wooster. Broadly, my research focuses on the book history, religious subjectivity, and community formation in nineteenth century Gujarat. My current book project examines the genesis and reception oral, textual, and digital versions of a sacred text in the Swaminarayan Sampraday. If given this opportunity, I would support the new directions panel and collaborate with various units such as Body and Religion and Space, Place, and Religion, to design diverse, inclusive, and stimulating programming.

Eric Steinschneider
Eric Steinschneider is currently Visiting Assistant Professor at Ithaca College. Broadly, his research examines the history and historiography of Hindu religious traditions in Tamil-speaking southern India from the fifteenth century onward. His current book project explores the ways in which colonial and late precolonial Śaivite intellectuals articulated the relationship between Śaivism and Vedānta, and their significance for regional constructions of modern Hindu universalism. A second area of interest focuses on Hindu women’s religious reading practices in contemporary South India. This line of research has recently been funded by a Senior Research Fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies.

Dheepa Sundaram
Dr. Dheepa Sundaram is scholar of performance, ritual, and digital culture whose research examines the formation of South Asian virtual religious publics, online platforms, social media, apps, and emerging technologies such as virtual reality. Her monograph project examines how commercial ritual websites fashion a new, digital canon for Hindu religious praxis, effectively “branding” religious identities through a neoliberal “Vedicizing” of virtual spaces. Her recent work explores how WhatsApp and Instagram foster virtual, ethnonationalist, social networks within India, highlighting issues of access/accessibility to religious spaces and the viability and visibility of online counter-narratives, especially those from minoritized/marginalized caste, gender, and class communities.
University page:
Personal website:

Lavanya Vemsani
Lavanya Vemsani is Professor of History in the Department of Social Sciences at Shawnee State University. Prof. Vemsani is awarded BOT (Board of Trustees) Distinguished Teaching Award at Shawnee State University. Prof. Vemsani’s publications include Modern Hinduism in Text and Context (2018); Krishna in History, Thought, and Culture: Encyclopedia of the Hindu Lord of Many Names (2016); Hindu and Jain Mythology of Balarama (2006), and numerous articles. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Indic Studies; Managing Editor of the International Journal of Indic Studies and Editorial and Review Board Member of Air Force Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs as well as the Canadian Journal of History. She is President of Ohio Academy of History (2018-2020).

Anand Venkatkrishnan
Anand Venkatkrishnan is Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He specializes in the study of Hinduism and Sanskrit intellectual history. His book in progress, Love in the Time of Scholarship, examines the relationship of bhakti, religion as lived affect, with philosophy as intellectual practice. It shows how Sanskrit scholars in early modern India allowed personal religious commitments to feature in and reshape their scholastic writing. Anand’s second project, titled Left-Hand Practice, concerns a group of loosely affiliated religious intellectuals in the 20th century who had significant ties with the Indian political left.