Friday, April 18, 2014

SUSAN VISVANATHAN @ SDSU! Another MALAS Co-sponsored Lecture with Women's Studies

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Susan Visvanathan (born 1957) is an Indian sociologistsocial anthropologist and a fiction writer. She is well known for her writings on religious dialogue and sociology of religion. Her first book Christians of Kerala: History, Belief and Ritual among the Yakoba(Oxford University Press) is a pathbreaking work in the field of sociology of religion. She is Chairperson and Professor of Sociology, Centre for the Study of Social Systems at the Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU).[1] Susan started her career as Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Hindu College, University of Delhi in 1983. She was Head of the Department of Sociology there from 1989 to 1997. She joined the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 1997, where she is now a Professor. She teaches Sociology of Religion, Historical Anthropology, Classical Social Theory and gender studies. She was Chairperson of the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University from 2010 to 2012. [1]
Visvanathan was Honorary Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla 1990-1995, and Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi 1989-92. She was a Charles Wallace Fellow to Queens University Belfast 1997. She has been a visiting professor to Maison des Sciences de L’Hommes, Paris (2004), Paris 13 University (2011) and Guest Professor to the Free University of Berlin (2011). She has been a Honorary Consultant to the World Council of Churches, Geneva 1987-89, Consultant to the Oxford University Press, New Delhi 1994 to 1999 and from 2009 onwards and Consultant to Free University, Berlin,2011. She also writes fiction during winter and summer breaks from the university, extending sociological and theoretical concerns in the more vivid prose of literary fiction including short stories and novels..[2]


  • The Christians of Kerala: History, Belief and Ritual among the Yakoba. Oxford University Press, Madras 1993. Reprinted 7th time as paperback from OUP Delhi in 2010
  • Missionary Styles and the Problem of Dialogue. Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla,1993
  • An Ethnography of Mysticism: The journeys of a French Monk in India. Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla 1998
  • Structure and Transformation: Theory and Society in India. Oxford University Press. Delhi, 2000.
  • Friendship, Interiority and Mysticism: Essays in Dialogue, Orient Longman, (Black Orient Swan) 2007.
  • Children of Nature: The Life and Legacy of Ramana Maharshi, (Roli Books, 2010)
  • Reading Marx, Weber and Durkheim Today, ( Palm Leaf Publications,2012)
  • Culture and Society ( Readings in Indian sociology,Vol.IX), (Sage, 2014)


  • Something Barely Remembered: short stories. Flamingo 2000 and Roli IndiaInk, 2000
  • The Visiting Moon, Roli IndiaInk 2002
  • Phosphorus and Stone, Penguin and Zubaaan,2007
  • Seine at Noon, Roli IndiaInk, 2007
  • Nelycinda and Other Stories, Roli Books,2012

sourced from wikipedia

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