- DPhil (Sanskrit linguistics) Oxford University, 1982
- MA (Sanskrit and Pali) Oxford University, 1978
- BSc (Physics) Imperial College, London, 1974
- History and culture of pre-modern India
- Sanskrit language and literature
- Indian knowledge systems: āyurveda (medicine), yoga, vyākaraṇa (linguistics), manuscript studies, Indian textual criticism and editorial technique,
- History of science in South Asia
In addition to serving on several editorial boards, I am a founding editor of two book series,
and the founding editor of the journal
In Asian Studies, my early training was in the Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit languages, and my first research project was on formal rule-conflicts in Indian linguistics (the generative Sanskrit grammar by Panini). Later, I moved to teach and research in the history of medicine in India and South Asia, and this has remained an active research area for me. I have also researched the history of classical Yoga in India, and that has immediately connected with aspects of early Indian Buddhism, out of which Yoga arose.
I am working on a book that presents the history of classical Indian medicine through a series of commented translations that illustrate how ideas changed through time. This will be published in a series at Columbia UP called "Historical Sourcebooks in Classical Indian Thought." Other writing projects include a book on the history of Yoga Asanas, co-authored with Philipp Maas (Leipzig), a study of debate and disagreement in the tradition of scholarly Indian medicine, and a work on the intellectual history of traditional Indian physicians in the two centuries preceding colonialism. A book on part of the surgical material in the Compendium of Suśruta (Suśrutasaṃhitā), arising out of the Sushruta Project, was published in 2023 (DOI). A secondary project explores an early Sanskrit treatise on alchemy called the Good Fortune of the King of Mercury (Rasendramaṅgala), by the author Nāgārjuna Siddha (website).
If there's a golden thread through my research interests it is the study of Sanskrit literature and its source materials in their original languages, mainly Sanskrit and Pali.
Fields of Graduate Supervision (2022: I am no longer accepting new students)
- Ancient Indian history
- History of medicine and science in India
- Sanskrit grammatical tradition (व्याकरणम् )
- History of Indian Buddhism
- History of Ayurveda
- History of Yoga
I run a graduate research seminar each semester for reading Sanskrit literature and exploring topics in philology.
I teach several undergraduate courses annually, including "Introduction to Classical India," "History of Indian Yoga and Meditation," "History of Science in Early India," and "Topics in the History of Medicine: Ayurveda: The Science of Life in Ancient India."
See the University of Alberta website for South Asian Studies: http://sas.ualberta.ca
The history and philosophy of early Yoga, exploring its focus on meditation, its literature, its connections with Buddhism, and its historical evolution. HIST 110, 289, or CLASS 110 are recommended but not required.
Research - The Suśruta Project: The textual and cultural history of medicine in South Asia based on newly-discovered manuscript evidence
1 April 2020 to 31 March 2024
In January 2007, the Nepal-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project announced the discovery of a palm-leaf manuscript of The Compendium of Sushruta that is reliably datable to 876 CE. The Compendium is a foundational treatise of classical Indian medicine written in Sanskrit about two thousand years ago. This manuscript pushes our physical evidence for the treatise back by a millennium and revels a much earlier stage of the work’s textual development. This SSHRC-funded project explores the history of medicine in South Asia in the context of this new evidence.The Sushruta Project
Other - History of Science in South Asia journal
I am the founding editor of this new international journal.HSSA
Other - Sir Henry Wellcome Asian Series - a book series
I am a founding editor, with Profs. Paul Unschuld and Lawrence I. Conrad, of a book series published with Brill, Leiden. The series publishes volumes on the history of science and medicine in Asia.Publisher's website for the SHWAS
Other - Traditional Indian Medicine
I am a founding editor, with Prof. K. G. Zysk. The series is published in Delhi by Motilal Banarsidass.Publisher's website
History of Science in South Asia. 2022 February; 10 10.18732/hssa70
Leiden, Boston. 2021 January; Body and Cosmos. Studies in Early Indian Medical and Astral Sciences in Honor of Kenneth G. Zysk
Studia Orientalia Electronica. 2018 January; 6
Göttingen. 2018 January; Yoga in Transformation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, ed. Karl Baier et al.
Asian Literature and Translation. 2017 January; 4 (1):159-86
Delhi. 2017 January;
Dominik Wujastyk, Karin Preisendanz, Anthony Cerulli
Indian Journal of History of Science. 54 (1):679-690
Kim Plofker, Agathe Keller, Takao Hayashi,Clemency Montelle, Dominik Wujastyk
History of Science in South Asia. 5 (1):134-50