Professor McComas Taylor


Research activity per year

Personal profile


McComas Taylor has led the South Asia Progam in the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University in Canberra. His research lies at the intersection of contemporary critical theory and classical Sanskrit narrative literature. His primary focus is on the construction of ‘true’ discourse in the Foucauldian sense in the Sanskritic, Hindu episteme. His initial work in this area was on the narrative fables in the Pañcatantra cycle. The primary output of this was a book, The fall of the Indigo Jackal, published by SUNY Press in 2007. Following that, he turned his attention to textual studies of the mahapuranas in which he explored various authorial strategies aimed at empowering puranic discourse. More recently, he has studied contemporary oral rendition of puranic texts, specifically the Bhagavatapurana, to explore ways in which performative and ritual practices empower discourse.

Research interests

  • The construction of truth in the Sanskritic episteme
  • The ideas of social division in Sanskrit narrative literature
  • Puranic narratives and their empowerment
  • Role of Sanskrit texts in contemporary Hindu practice
  • Flexible delivery of small-enrolment languages



Researcher's projects


Expertise Areas

  • Indian Literature
  • Epistemology
  • Studies in Eastern Religious Traditions


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