Anthony Cerulli

Credentials: Professor of South Asian Studies

Position title: 1232 Van Hise Hall


Website: Anthony Cerulli's website

Phone: (608) 262-3915

Director, Center for South Asia
Director, Health and the Humanities Certificate

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

UW Experts ORCiD

Research Interests
Anthony’s main fields of research are medicine and religion. In much of his teaching and writing he combines ethnography, history, and philology to explore these fields in South Asia, although his work also draws from and contributes to discussions in the medical and health humanities more broadly. Exhibitions and publications via Anthony’s ongoing photo-ethnography project, “Manuscriptistan,” explore links between art-making, aesthetics, and the history of knowledge production in India.

Anthony’s research has been supported by awards from the the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress; National Endowment for the Humanities; American Council of Learned Societies; Institut d’études avancées de Paris; European Institutes for Advanced Studies; Library of Congress Asian Division; and Fulbright-Hays. He has been Directeur d’études invité at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris, and he is currently Editor of India Review and on the editorial boards of two book series: “Global Histories of Premodern Health and Disease” (Edinburgh UP) and “Ancient Cultures of Knowledges and Sciences” (Mohr Siebeck).

Anthony welcomes inquiries and applications from students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in the history of medicine and medical anthropology in South Asia, religion in South Asia, and global medical and health humanities.


Visit Anthony’s Humanities Commons page for a full list of publications (many downloadable) and exhibitions.

  • Books and edited volumes

2022, The Practice of Texts: Education and Healing in South India. Oakland: University of California Press (Luminos OA).

2020, Time, Continuity, and Rupture: Medicines and Memories in South Asia. Co-edited with Lisa Brooks and Victoria Sheldon. Asian Medicine 15, no. 1.

2018, The Gift in India in Theory and Practice. Co-edited with Miriam Benteler. International Journal of Hindu Studies 22, no. 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. Albany: State University of New York Press.

  • Articles, chapters, and essays (since 2020)

2023, “Religion and Medicine in Sanskrit Literature: The Rāmāyaṇa and the Politics of an Epic Plant.” In Situating religion and medicine in Asia: Methodological insights and innovations, edited by Michael Stanley Baker, 165–197. Manchester: Manchester University Press. 

2023, “Shaping the Study of South Asia: The Annual Conference on South Asia at UW–Madison.” Co-authored with Sarah Beckham and Andrea Fowler. In Wisconsin in the World: Internationalization at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, edited by Elise Ahn, 293–300. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.

2022, “Vies et renaissances des manuscrits en Asie du Sud.” Le Bulletin des Belles Lettres 2022, nº3, “Science si humaine,” 18–23. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

2022, “L’art dans l’archive: Manuscrits dans l’histoire de l’Inde.” In Manuel du Prince Indien: L’Arthaśāstra. Introduction et extraits par Marinette Dambuyant et photographies et postface par Anthony Cerulli, 251–268. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

2022, “Pedagogy, Philology, and Procedural Medical Knowledge.” South Asian History and Culture 13, no. 1: 135–155.

2021, “Disease: Discourse and Interpretation in Premodern South Asia.” Religion Compass 15, no. 12: 1–10.

2021, “Allegory and History, Life and Embodiment.” In Body and Cosmos: Studies in Early Indian Medical and Astral Sciences in Honor of Kenneth G. Zysk, edited by T. Knudsen, J. Schmidt-Madsen, and S. Speyer, 209-232. Leiden: Brill.

2020, “Epilogue: Healing Concerns in South Asian Texts, Histories, and Societies.” Asian Medicine 15, no. 1: 183-196.

2020, “Introduction: Medicines and Memories in South Asia.” Co-authored with Lisa Brooks and Victoria Sheldon. Asian Medicine 15, no. 1: 3-9.

2020, “Archival Aesthetics: Framing and Exhibiting Indian Manuscripts and Manuscript Libraries.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 43, no. 3: 455-477.

  • Photography exhibitions and publications (since 2020)

2023, “The Aesthetic Shape of History.” Roberta’s Art Gallery, Whitewater, WI (solo exhibit: Nov–Dec, 47 pieces).

2023, “The Archive as Art.” Solarium Gallery at Houghton House, Geneva, NY (solo exhibit: Mar–Apr, 57 pieces).

2023, “Manuscriptistan 18” and “Manuscriptistan 53.” In Old Stacks, New Leaves: The Arts of the Book in South Asia by Sonal Khullar. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

2022, Le Bulletin des Belles Lettres, nº3, “Science si humaine” (6 photographs). Paris: Les Belles Lettres

2022, L’Arthaśāstra. Introduction et extraits par Marinette Dambuyant et photographies et postface par Anthony Cerulli (17 photographs). Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

2021, “Manuscriptistan 18.” In Sosio-ekologi kelapa laut by Firuza Begham Binti Mustafa. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.

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


Ethnography in Asia
Gateway to Asia: Trek and Encounter
Health and Healing in South Asia
Perfectible Bodies in Religion, Medicine, and Politics
Religion in South Asia

The Mahābhārata
Theory and Method in the Study of Religion