Gauri Viswanathan


Gauri Viswanathan is Class of 1933 Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. She has published widely on education, religion, and culture; nineteenth-century British and colonial cultural studies; and the history of modern disciplines. She is the author of Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India (Columbia, 1989; Oxford, 1998) and Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief (Princeton, 1998), which won the Harry Levin Prize awarded by the American Comparative Literature Association, the James Russell Lowell Prize awarded by the Modern Language Association of America, and the Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Prize awarded by the Association for Asian Studies. She is also the editor of Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews with Edward W. Said (Vintage, 2001), as well as a special issue of ARIEL: A Review of English Literature (2000) on “Institutionalizing English Studies: The Postcolonial/Postindependence Challenge.” Among her recent articles are “The State of the World” in Victorian Studies (2006), “Spectrality’s Secret Sharers” in Beyond the Black Atlantic (Routledge, 2006), “Religion after Religion in Literary Modernism” in Reconstructing Realities: Occident-Orient Engagements (Malaysia 2007), and “Literacy and Conversion in the Discourse of Hindu Nationalism” in The Crisis of Secularism in India (Duke UP, 2007). Prof. Viswanathan’s current work is on modern occultism, heterodoxy, and the writing of alternative religious histories. She has held numerous distinguished visiting chairs, among them the Beckman Professorship at Berkeley, and was most recently an Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. She has received Guggenheim, NEH, and Mellon fellowships, and was a fellow at various international research institutes.


Class of 1933 Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University