2009-2010 Teacher / Scholar of the Year: Vasudha Narayanan
Vasudha Narayanan is Distinguished Professor, Department of Religion, at the University of Florida and a past President of the American Academy of Religion (2001-2002). She was also the president of the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies from 1996-1998. She came to the University of Florida in 1982 as an adjunct instructor and has had the privilege of teaching here since then.
Dr Narayanan was educated at the Universities of Madras and Bombay in India, and at Harvard University. She is currently working on Hindu temples and traditions in Cambodia. Her other fields of interest are the Sri Vaishnava tradition; textual, visual and expressive cultures in the study of the Hindu traditions; and Hinduism and the environment.
She is the author or editor of seven books and numerous articles, chapters in books, and encyclopedia entries. Her research has been supported by grants and fellowships from several organizations including the Centre for Khmer Studies (2007); the American Council of Learned Societies (2004-2005); National Endowment for the Humanities (1987, 1989-90, and 1998-99), the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1991-92), the American Institute of Indian Studies/ Smithsonian, and the Social Science Research Council.
Dr. Narayanan and the University of Florida have created the nation’s first Center for the Study of Hindu Traditions (CHiTra) to encourage the research, teaching and public understanding of Hindu culture and traditions. In 1996 she received the Florida Blue Key Distinguished Professor Award at UF.