- 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. Over the last five years, I have begun to research 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 currently 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 news series from 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 (Vienna), 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.
If there's a golden thread through my research interests it is the study of source materials in their original languages, mainly Sanskrit and Pali.
Fields of Graduate Supervision (I am not accepting new PhD 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
Introduction to the formative period of South Asian history, from approximately 3000 BCE to 600 CE, covering the Harappan civilization, Indo-European migration, and the first kingdoms of the Ganges valley.
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