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Personal profile

Research interests

Hindi-Urdu (incl. Braj Bhasa and Avadhi), Maithili, and Bengali languages & literatures; Hinduism & Bhakti Studies; Poetry, Performance

Biography

Christopher's current project concerns the literary legacy of a medieval multi-lingual poet from the North Indian region of Mithila, Vidyapati (c. 1370-1450).  His, at the time, new vernacular language of song and poetry became a standardized classical style across Nepal, the Eastern Gangetic Plains, Bengal, and further afield. Christopher is currently working on a new edition and translation of some of the oldest manuscript that contain this poet's songs and a critical analysis of the ways kings and brahmins in Nepal and Bihar employed them to project their own power and prestige. 

Christopher is also interested in devotional (bhakti) literature in North and East India more generally. Projects on the eastern Indian renditions of Epic and Puranic literature are on the horizon (e.g., Kashi Das and Sarala Das' Mahabharatas, etc.). 

Christopher has lived and conducted research in India, off-and-on, for the past 10 years. He has traveled all over the subcontinent, but finds himself regularly in West Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh (North & East India). 

Christopher works with texts, traditions, and culture in Hindi (including Braj Bhasa and Avadhi), Urdu, Bengali, Maithili, Sanskrit, Persian, and Apabhramsa.

Researcher's projects

Current Research Projects Include

  • The cultural and literary memories associated with the poet-scholar Vidyapati (c. 1370-1450) in Bihar, Nepal, Bengal, and beyond. 
  • Hindu-Muslim & regional interactions in Early Hindi & Apabhramsa literature
  • Eastern Indian Epic and Puranic Retellings 

Education/Academic qualification

Hindi and Music, Bachelor, School of Oriental and African Studies

South Asian Languages & Literature, Master, University of Washington

South Asian Languages & Literature, PhD, University of Washington

Keywords

  • PK Indo-Iranian
  • BL Religion
  • DS Asia

Expertise Areas

  • Asian Cultural Studies
  • Indian Languages
  • Indian Literature
  • Religion and Religious Studies

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