Aftab Jassal is a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University and received his doctorate in West and South Asian religions at Emory University in 2014. A scholar of classical and contemporary Hinduism, his research focuses on performance traditions involving epic storytelling, divine embodiment, ritual healing and place-making practices in north India. He is particularly interested in how gods and their devotees enter into and maintain long-term, reciprocal and mutually transformative relationships through ritual. At present, he is completing his first book manuscript, titled In Search of Krishna: Place and Presence in the Himalayas, an ethnographic study examining how the Hindu god Krishna is known, experienced and made present in the lives of his worshipers, including as the talk will demonstrate, in the guise of politician.
This lecture is sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.