Religion in South Asia; Hinduism; Kerala History and Culture; History of Medicine in India; Medical and Health Humanities
Ph.D., University of Chicago | M.A., Yale University | B.A., Loyola University Chicago
Anthony Cerulli is an historian of religions whose research combines ethnographic, historical, and philological methods to address central issues in the study of religion, such as the nature of ritual, comparitivism, and the politics of religious rhetoric. His work also contributes to the fields of narrative medicine and medical humanities, where, in the American literary context, he has written about the relationship between religion, science, and authority in the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne. The lion's share of his work is in South Asian Studies, where he examines associations between Indian religions and healing systems. He is especially interested in how and why people "do things with texts" to heal and sustain wellbeing. To that end, his research looks at the intersections of premodern and modern literary cultures in India at sites of ritual healing, among Hindu communities, and in institutions of medical education.
Notable achievements: Florence Tan Moeson Fellowship (Library of Congress, 2017); Guggenheim Fellowship (2015); NEH Fellowship (2012-13); EURIAS Fellowship (2012-13); ACLS Fellowship (2011-12); Fulbright-Hays Fellowship (2004-05)
Among Anthony Cerulli's current projects are a translation of a Sanskrit allegory about medicine and the body (Jīvānandanam); an historical ethnography about medical education among contemporary college-educated and traditionally-trained practitioners of Ayurveda and changes in ayurvedic education in India from 1890 to 1975; a study of Hanuman's "medicine journey" to retrieve life-saving herbs in the Sanskrit Ramayana and some of the episode's iterative lives in South Asia and elsewhere, both premodern and recent, to understand how the story's multiple retellings have contributed to the survival, transformation, and/or disappearance of healing lore in South Asia; a photoethnography project on the aesthetics of manuscript archives in India; and an edited volume on physicians and patients in premodern South Asia. At present, he is the Managing Editor of India Review (since 2009) and an Associate Editor of Asian Medicine: Journal of IASTAM.
2012. Somatic Lessons: Narrating Patienthood and Illness in Indian Medical Literature. SUNY Series in Hindu Studies. Albany: State University of New York Press.
2016. "Body, Self, and Embodiment in the Sanskrit Classics of Āyurveda." In Refiguring the Body: Embodiment in South Asian Religions, Barbara Holdrege and Karen Pechilis (eds.), 59-88. Albany: State University of New York Press.
2016. "Mineral Healing: Gemstone Remedies in Astrological and Medical Traditions." Co-authored with Caterina Guenzi. In Soulless Matter, Seats of Energy: Metals, Gems and Minerals in South Asian Religions and Culture, Fabrizio Ferrari and Thomas Dähnhardt (eds.), 73-93. Sheffield and Bristol, CT: Equinox.
2016. "അവസാനം മലയാളം വായനക്കാർക്ക് ജീവാനന്ദനം എത്തിച്ചേർന്നു." ആമുഖം - പി. കെ. വി. ആനന്ദ് (ട്രാൻസ്), ജീവാനന്ദനം, 3-9. തൃശ്ശൂർ: കുന്നത്ത് മന ആയുർവേദം പുസ്തകങ്ങൾ." ["At last, the Jīvānandanam has arrived for Malayalam readers." Preface to P.V.K. Anand (trans.), Jīvānandanaṃ, 3-9. Thrissur: Kunnath Mana Ayurveda Books.]
2015. "Unpuzzling an Aporia: Theorizing Acts of Ritual and Medicine in South India." Journal of Ritual Studies 29/2: 25-43.
2015. "Storytelling and Accountability for Illness in Sanskrit Medical Literature." In Disease, Religion, and Healing in Asia: Collaborations & Collisions, I. Vargas-O'Bryan and Z. Xun (eds.), 86-101. London: Routledge.
2014. "Editors' Introduction: Roundtable on Intellectual Freedom, Vigilantism, and Censorship in India." Co-authored with Eswaran Sridharan. India Review 13/3 (August): 274-276.
2014. "Nathaniel Hawthorne's Warring Doctors and Meddling Ministers." Co-authored with Sarah Berry. Mosaic: a journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature 47/1 (March): 111-128.
2013. "Mad Scientists, Narrative, and Social Power: A Collaborative Learning Activity." Co-authored with Sarah Berry. Journal of Medical Humanities 34/4 (December): 451-454.
2013. "Zoroastrianism." In Religions of the World: An Introduction to Culture and Meaning, Lawrence Sullivan (ed.), 283-304. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.
2013. "The Joy of Life: Medicine, Politics, and Religion." In Medical Texts and Manuscripts in Indian Cultural History, A. Cerulli, K. Preisendanz, and D. Wujastyk (eds.), 159-179. New Delhi: Manohar Press.
2012. "On the Allegorization of Action for Health." eJournal of Indian Medicine, 5/1: 25-35.
2011. "Calculating Fecundity in the Kāśyapa Saṃhitā." In Health and Religious Rituals in South Asia: Disease, Possession and Healing, Fabrizio Ferrari (ed.), 114-126. London: Routledge.
2010. "Āyurveda." In Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume II: Texts, Rituals, Arts, and Concepts, K.A. Jacobsen, H. Basu, A. Malinar, V. Narayanan (eds.), 267-280. Leiden: Brill (revised online ed., 2013).
2009. "Know Thy Body, Know Thyself: Decoding Knowledge of the Ātman in Sanskrit Medical Literature." Co-authored with Brahmadathan U.M.T. eJournal of Indian Medicine, 2/3: 101-107.
2009. "Narrative Wellbeing: Ānandarāyamakhin's The Joy of Life (Jīvānandanam)." Indian Journal of History of Science, 44/2: 231-246.
2009. "On the Nature of the Patient in Sanskrit Medical Literature." In Ashtanga Hridaya Sathram, N.K. Mahadevan (ed.), 74-77. Kottayam: Sreekrishna Ayurveda Kendra.
2008 "Mental Disease in the Āyurvedadīpikā of Cakrapāṇidatta." In Navathy Pranamam (essays for V.M.C. Shankaran Namboodiri on his 90th birthday), V.M.D. Namboodiri (ed.). Venkitangu: Ullanoor Mana Trust.
2019. "Manuscriptistan." Kamin Gallery, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (September-December, 40 pieces).
2011. "കേരളം അനുദിനം/keraḷaṃ anudinaṃ/Kerala Everyday." The Little Theatre, Rochester, NY (September-October, 20 pieces).
2011. "South India Snaps." Mercer Gallery ("Director's Choice"), Monroe Community College-SUNY, Rochester, NY (April-June, 16 pieces).
2010. "Malabari Manorama: Scenes from Kerala." Demarest Hall, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY (January-February, 25 pieces).
Foundations of Asian Civilizations
Health & Healing in Sout Asia
History of Medicine in India
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Asia
Perfectible Bodies in Religion, Medicine, and Politics
Religion in South Asia
Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion
Trekking Through Asia