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Jesse Knutson

Jesse Knutson, Ph.D.

Ph.D., South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago, May 2009
M.A., South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago, May 2005
M.A., South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, May 2002
B.A. (with honors and departmental citation), South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, May 2000

केयूरा न विभूषयन्ति पुरुषं हारा न चन्द्रोज्ज्वला

न स्नानं न विलेपनं न कुसुमं नालाङ्कृता मूर्धजाः।

वाण्येका समलङ्करोति पुरुषं या संस्कृता धार्यते

क्षीयन्ते खलु भूषणानि सततं वाग्भूषणं भूषणम्।।


Research Interests:

Sanskrit literature and literary theory, ancient and early medieval history and literary history of South Asia, Early Middle Bengali poetry, comparative premodern poetry and poetics.
(808) 956-2227
Spalding 461


Kāmandaki’s Essence of Politics (Nītisāra), Murty Classical Library of India, Harvard University Press, 2021. [Review: Harald Wiese, Indo-Iranian Journal 64, 2021, pp 88-94.]

Into the Twilight of Sanskrit Court Poetry: The Sena Salon of Bengal and Beyond, University of California Press, 2014; South Asian edition: Yoda Press, Delhi, 2016. [Review Essay: Sylvain Brocquet, Bulletin d’études indiennes N˚31 2013 [published 2015], pp. 341-352; Review: Ryosuke Furui, International Journal of Asian Studies 13.2, July 2016, pp. 243-245; Heidi Pauwels, Journal of Asian Studies 77.4, November 2018, pp 1119-1121.]

Selected Articles

“The Poetics of Detachment in Medieval Kāvya: Anthologies and the Path of Literary Sanskrit in the Second Millennium.” Studies in History, 2021.

“An Orgy of Order: the Bhaṭṭikāvya’s Scientific Experiment and the Reproduction of Aesthetic and Political Life in Early Medieval South Asia.” & “Introduction” in Special Section guest ed. Jesse R. Knutson: “Ādikāvyāni: Regional Sanskrit Rāmāyaṇas in Early Medieval India.” Rivista Degli Studi Orientali, 1-2, November 2019.

“Eastern Gothic: From Kannauj to Bengal and Back in the Early Medieval Period”, Clio and Her Descendants: Essays for Kesavan Veluthat, Primus Books, Delhi, 2018.

Kāvya and Us: Reading Innovations and Turning Points.” [Review Essay on Bronner et al. (2014): Innovations and Turning Points: Toward a History of Kāvya Literature.] Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 38.1, May 2018

“Money, Morality, and Masculinity: Staging the Politics of Poverty in Sanskrit Theater”, Philosophy East and West Volume 66, 2016.

“Political Pleasures in Late Classical India: Kālidāsa’s Spirituality and King Harṣadeva’s Imagination of Polygamous Urbanity”, Rivista degli Studi Orientali, 2015.

“Poetic Justice: On Kalhaṇa’s Historical Aesthetics”, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Vol. 35, No. 2, August 2015.

“The Mahābhārata’s Infernal Paradise: On the Premodern Condition”, Studies in History, 31 (2) August 2015.

“The Gītagovinda and Beyond”, Journal of Vaiṣṇava Studies, vol. 22 No. 1, pp.157-68, Fall 2013.

“History Beyond the Reality Principle: Literary and Political Territories in Sena Period Bengal”, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Vol. 32, No. 3, December 2012.

“The Vernacular Cosmopolitan: Jayadeva’s Gītagovinda”, in South Asian Texts in History: Critical Engagements with Sheldon Pollock. ed. Yigal Bronner, Whitney Cox, and Lawrence McCrea, Association for Asian Studies, 2011.

“The Political Poetic of the Sena Court”, Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 69, issue 02, pp. 371-401, May 2010.

Samsṛktakābye o Baḍu Caṇḍidāser Śrīkrṣṇakīrttane Ākhyāner Sthān: Kichu Bhābanā [In Bengali] Gangeopatro 20, April 2008. 

“The Birth of the Anthology and the Social Life of Sanskrit Kāvya” in Biblio: A Review of Books vol. XI no. 3 and 4 March-April 2006.

Book Reviews and Other Publications

Review: Mark McClish. The History of the Arthaśāstra: Sovereignty and Sacred Law in Ancient India. Bulletin of SOAS, 84.1, 2/2021.

“Jayadeva and the Gītagovinda.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Hinduism. Ed. Tracy Coleman. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Review: Thomas de Bruijn and Allison Busch, ed. Culture and Circulation: Literature in Motion in Early Modern India. Bulletin of SOAS 78/3 October 2015.

Review: James McHugh. Sandalwood and Carrion: Smell in Indian Religion and Culture. Indian Economic & Social History Review 52: 393-395, July-September 2015.

Review: Thapar, Romila. The Past Before Us: Historical Traditions of Early North India. Bulletin of SOAS 78/1 (February 2015)

“Jayadeva”, Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Ed. Knut A. Jacobsen, vol. 4 pp 241-8, Brill, 2012.
Translations of Bengali poems by Anjan Sen in Fulcrum: An Annual of Poetry and Aesthetics, Issue No. 7, 2011.

Review: Brocquet, Sylvain.  La Geste de Rāma: Poème a double sens de Sandhyākaranandin: introduction, texte, traduction, analyse. (Institut Français de Pondichery, École Française d’Extrême Orient), Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.1, 2011.

Review: Kesavan Veluthat. The Early Medieval in South India (Oxford University Press, 2009). Contributions to Indian Sociology. 45: 123, 2011, pp.123-125.

Review: Kumkum Chatterjee. The Cultures of History in Early Modern India: Persianization and Mughal Culture in Bengal. (Oxford University Press, 2009), Journal of Early Modern History, Volume 13, Number 4, 2009, pp. 326-328.

University of Hawai’i Mānoa Endowment for the Humanities Summer Research Award, 2014.

University of Hawai’i Mānoa College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature Excellence in Teaching Award, 2017.

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