Anthony Cerulli

Associate Professor of South Asian Studies

(608) 262-3915

1232 Van Hise Hall
Office hours: by appointment


PhD, University of Chicago
MA, Yale University
BA, Loyola University Chicago

Research Interests
Anthony Cerulli’s research combines ethnographic, historical, and philological methods to explore issues in the study of religions and healing traditions in India. His past and ongoing projects look at how and why people “do things with texts” to heal and sustain wellbeing. To that end, his work probes the intersections of premodern and modern literary cultures in India at sites of ritual healing, among Hindu communities, and in institutions of medical education. Additionally, Anthony is the Managing Editor of India Review (Taylor & Francis) and an Associate Editor of Asian Medicine (Brill).

Anthony has received fellowships from the Library of Congress, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, European Institutes for Advanced Studies, American Council of Learned Societies, and Fulbright-Hays.

He is interested in working with graduate students in the areas of religion in South Asia, Hinduism, history of medicine and medical anthropology in South Asia, and medical and health humanities.



  • Books & Edited Volumes

2018, The Gift in India in Theory and Practice. Co-edited with Miriam Benteler. International Journal of Hindu Studies, 22/2.

2013, Medical Texts and Manuscripts in Indian Cultural History. Co-edited with Dominik Wujastyk and Karin Preisendanz. New Delhi: Manohar Press.

2012, Somatic Lessons: Narrating Patienthood and Illness in Indian Medical Literature. SUNY Series in Hindu Studies. Albany: State University of New York Press.

  • Articles, Chapters, Essays

2018, “Politicking Ayurvedic Education.” Asian Medicine, 13/1-2: 298-334.

2018, “Gifting Knowledge for Long Life.” International Journal of Hindu Studies, 22/2: 235-255.

2018, “The Gift in India in Theory and Practice.” Co-Authored with Miriam Benteler. International Journal of Hindu Studies, 22/2: 191-196.

2016, “Body, Self, and Embodiment in the Sanskrit Classics of Āyurveda.” In Refiguring the Body: Embodiment in South Asian Religions, B. Holdrege and K. 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.), Jīvānandanam, 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 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 Āyurvedadipīkā 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.



2020, “Manuscriptistan.” Chazen Museum of Art, Faculty 2020 Exhibition, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI (group exhibit: Jan–May, 4 pieces).

2019, “Manuscriptistan.” Kamin Gallery, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (solo exhibit: Sep–Dec, 62 pieces).

2018, “Manuscriptistan 01” and “Manuscriptistan 04.” Light, 07 (Fall): 10-11.

2011, “കേരളം അനുദിനം/keraḷaṃ anudinaṃ/Kerala Everyday.” The Little Theatre Gallery, Rochester, NY (solo exhibit: Sep–Oct, 20 pieces).

2011, “South India Snaps.” Mercer Gallery (Director’s Choice), Monroe Community College-SUNY, Rochester, NY (solo exhibit: Apr–Jun, 16 pieces).

2010, “Malabari Manorama: Scenes from Kerala.” Demarest Hall Gallery, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY (solo exhibit: Jan–Feb, 25 pieces).


Gateway to Asia: Trek and Encounter
Health & Healing in South Asia
History of Medicine in India
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Asia
Perfectible Bodies in Religion, Medicine, and Politics
Religion in South Asia
The Mahābhārata
Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion