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Lavanya Vemsani PhD

About

Lavanya Vemsani is associate professor of Asian History and Religious Studies at Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, OH. She has also taught in the School of Social Sciences in the Department of Religious Studies at the McMaster University (Hamilton, ON) and St. Thomas University (Fredericton, NB) in Canada. She graduated from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India with M. A., and went on to complete two doctorates in History and Religious Studies (from University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India and McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada). She is also the recipient of a number of distinguished research awards and grants including the Best Canadian Ph.D. dissertation on South Asia 2007, Honorable Mention Prize by the South Asia Council of Canadian Asian Studies Association and Post Doctoral Research Grant of the Shastri Indo Canada Institute. She is the author of Hindu and Jain Mythology of Balarama and a number of articles on History and Religions of India. Her research interests include Hinduism, Jainism, and Popular religions of India, Early modern women, early history of India, Classical and Modern literatures of India. She teaches courses on world history and world religions and in particular courses on history and religious studies of India including regions of South, Southeast Asia and East Asia.

Education

  • McMaster University

    Ph.D., Religious Studies, 2004

    Hamilton, Canada

  • University of Hyderabad

    Ph.D., History, 1999

    Hyderabad, India

  • University of Hyderabad

    M.Phil. in History, 1992

    Hyderabad, India

  • Osmania University

    M.A. in Ancient Indian History, Culture, and Archeology, 1990

    Hyderabad, India

  • Osmania University

    B.A. in History, Politics, and Ancient Indian History, Culture, and Archeology, 1988,

    Hyderabad, India

Primary Courses

  • HIST 2430 - World History I
  • HIST 2440 - World History II
  • HIST 3400 - History of Hinduism
  • HIST 3410 - East Asian History
  • HIST 3420 - History of Buddhism and Jainism
  • HIST 3415 - Japan in the Global World
  • HIST 3430 - Ancient Indian Culture
  • HIST 3432 - Gandhi and Modern India
  • HIST 3435 - India in the Global World
  • HIST 4474 - History and Practice of Nonviolence

Publications

  • "Narasimha, the Supreme Deity of Andhra Pradesh: An Examination of Local Mythology, Folk Stories and Popular Culture." Journal of Contemporary Religion Vol. 24. (Jan, 09): 37-52.
  • "Jainism." "Hinduism." Encyclopeadia of Love, Sex and Courtship Vol.2 Medieval Era. Ed. William E. Burns, Greenwood Press: Westport, Connecticut, London, 2007.
  • Hindu and Jain Mythology of Balarāma. Edwin Mellen Press: New York (USA), Lewiston (UK), Kingston (Canada), 2006.
  • "Naming Patterns in Early Medieval Andhra Pradesh," in Proceedings of the Council for Social Sciences Research –Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSSR-CSIR) Conference, Ed. Dr. Balagangadhara Rao, Guntur (1999)
  • "Early Medieval Townships and Villages in Andhra Pradesh," in Proceedings of Andhra Pradesh History Congress (APHC1999)

Forthcoming Publications

  • "Sanskrit Plays." Ed. Kevin McGeough. World History Encyclopedia Vol. 2. Santa Barbara, Ca, US: ABC-Cleo, 2009.
  • "City People in the South Asia."; "Literature in South India."; "Cities in Early Medieval India." Ed. Wilfred Bisson. World History Encyclopedia Vol. 3. Santa Barbara, Ca, US: ABC-Cleo, 2009.
  • "Gods and Goddesses in Rivers, Trees, and Stones: The Hinduism of the Masses." Ed. Dane Morrison. World History Encyclopedia Vol. 6. Santa Barbara, Ca, US: ABC-Cleo, 2009.

Forthcoming Publications

  • "Early Medieval Urban Centers in the Godavari Basin (600 C.E-1300 C.E), 38th Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Region Association of Asian Studies (MARAAS), Oct 22-23, 2010, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.
  • Section Chair, Religion in India, American Academy of Religion-Mid Atlantic region (AAR_MAR), March 13-15, 2010, The Radisson Hotel, New Brunswick, NJ.
  • "1968 across the Subcontinent: Rising Political Movements and Regionalism in India in the Late 1960s." American History Association (AHA), Jan 5-10, 2010, Hotel Marriotte, San Diego, CA.
  • "Embryonic Narratives and Motherhood in Hinduism," Mid-Atlantic Region Association of Asian Studies (MARAAS), Oct 23-24, 2009, Villanova University, Villanova, PA.
  • "Worms and the Body in Hinduism," American Academy of Religion- Mid Atlantic Region (AAR-MAR), March 12-15, The Radisson Hotel, New Brunswick, NJ.
  • "Symbolism of forest and Exile: Deviant women in Hindu mythology and Folk Stories." Mid-Atlantic region Association of Asian Studies (MARAAS), October 24-26, 2008, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ.
  • "Nation in a state of rite of passage: Novel as ritual in Ravindranath Tagore's Gora." Midatlantic Regional Association of Asian Studies Conference(MARAAS). Oct. 26-27, 2007, University of Maryland, Maryland. Not attended.
  • "Narasimha in Local Tradition of Andhra Pradesh." Eastern Internatinal American Association of Religion Conference, May 4-5, 2007. University of Waterloo, Kitchener-Waterloo, ON, Canada.
  • "Personal Accounts: Teaching tools or teaching traps," CHEA/ACHE- HES joint Bienniel Conference, Oct 26-28, 2006, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
  • "Death of Balarama in Hindu and Jain Texts." Eastern International Region- American Academy of Religion Conference, May, 5-6, 2006, Quebec University, Quebec City, Canada. Not attended.
  • "Fetal Narrative in Hinduism." Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, Annual Conference, May 28-29, 2006, York University, York, Ontario, Canada. Not attended.
  • "Balarama in the story of Dhenuka: Change and Continuity," Eastern International American Association of Religion Conference, May 7-9, 2005, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  • "Birth Story of Balarama: Transfer and transformation," in the panel on Texts, transformation and change, Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, Annual Conference, May 29-30, 2005, London, Ontario, Canada.

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