I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. I work on the literary and intellectual traditions of South and Southeast Asia, including:

My contributions on: academia.edu, panditproject.org (a prosopographical database for South Asian intellectuals and their works), and github. I also have a blog on which I sometimes post thoughts and results arising from my research.



open access cc-nc-nd

Language of the Snakes: Prakrit, Sanskrit, and the Language Order of Premodern India

University of California Press, Oakland, 2017.

This book is open access and published under a Creative Commons license. You can download it.

Prakrit, Sanskrit, and the Language Order of Premodern India

South Asian edition. Published by Primus Books, New Delhi, 2018.

Language of the Snakes traces the history of the Prakrit language as a literary phenomenon, starting from its cultivation in courts of the Deccan in the first centuries of the common era. Although little studied today, Prakrit was an important vector of the kavya movement and once joined Sanskrit at the apex of classical Indian literary culture. The opposition between Prakrit and Sanskrit was at the center of an enduring “language order” in India, a set of ways of thinking about, naming, classifying, representing, and ultimately using languages. As a language of classical literature that nevertheless retained its associations with more demotic language practices, Prakrit both embodies major cultural tensions—between high and low, transregional and regional, cosmopolitan and vernacular—and provides a unique perspective onto the history of literature and culture in South Asia.

Lilavai by Kouhala

Murty Classical Library of India, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2021.