People – Researchers

Corinna Lhoir

Corinna Lhoir, M.A., is a PhD student of classical Indology and a contract lecturer for Beginner’s Sanskrit and Origins of Yoga at Universität Hamburg as well as an entrepreneur with her own online learning platform with focus on studies of yoga and Sanskrit (“”). She holds a B.A. in Languages and Cultures of India and Tibet with focus on classical Indology from Universität Hamburg and a M.A. in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation from SOAS, University of London. She is also currently enrolled in a M.A. program on Oriental Languages and Cultures India at Ghent University in Belgium, where her studies focus on Jainism.

Prof. Lola Williamson

Prof. Lola Williamson

Lola Williamson is Professor Emerita of Religious Studies and the former Director of Peace and Justice Studies at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. She holds a Ph.D. in Languages and Cultures of Asia from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Williamson’s research centers on Hinduism in North America with an emphasis on yoga and meditation movements. She founded the North America Hinduism Consultation of the American Academy of Religion in 2006. Her book, Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion (New York University Press, 2010), uses Self-Realization Fellowship, Transcendental Meditation, and Siddha Yoga as case studies to argue that these and similar groups form a distinct category of new religion. Her edited volume with Ann Gleig, Homegrown Gurus: From Hinduism in America to American Hinduism (SUNY Press, 2014), examines the role of American-born teachers and gurus in creating a new hybrid “American Hinduism.”

Dr Raphaël Voix

Dr Raphaël Voix

Raphaël Voix holds an MA and a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Paris West Nanterre la Défense where he is a part-time lecturer, and also an MA in Bengali from the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (Paris) where he teaches Hinduism. He is an associate member of CEIAS (Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud). He specialises in the study of contemporary Hindu asceticism and has conducted extensive fieldwork on Bengali sects. His research deals mainly with tantric practices, violence and utopia in Hindu India.

Prof. Hugh Urban

Hugh B. Urban is a professor of religious studies and South Asian studies in the Department of Comparative Studies at Ohio State University. He is primarily interested in Tantra and in the complex interactions between Tantra and new religious currents in America and Europe. He is the author of seven books, including Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics and Power in the Study of Religions (2003), Magia Sexualis: Sex, Magic and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism (2005), and The Power of Tantra: Religion, Sexuality and the Politics of South Asian Studies (2010).

Prof. Smriti Srinivas

Prof. Smriti Srinivas

Smriti Srinivas is Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis. Srinivas’ research interests include cities and urban cultures, religion, the body, South Asia within a comparative context and Indian Ocean worlds. Her most recent work, Devotional Spaces of a Global Saint: Shirdi Sai Baba’s Presence (2022), is a co-edited volume with Neelima Jeychandran and Allen Roberts, and focuses on the presence and contemporaneity of Shirdi Sai Baba (d.1918), who has a vast following in postcolonial South Asia and an ever-growing global diaspora.

Prof Federico Squarcini

Prof. Federico Squarcini

Federico Squarcini taught at Florence University and at the Università La Sapienza, Rome, before joining the Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice, Italy, where he is currently Associated Professor of History of Religions. Prof. Squarcini lectures on a range of South-Asia related topics, including Indian philosophy and religions. He is also Director of doctoral studies with regard to Asian subjects and In 2012 he launched the Ca’ Foscari Yoga Studies MA (information in Italian here), which he continues to direct. His main teaching and research interests include Sanskrit normative textual traditions (dharmaśāstra), intellectual history of asceticism and anthropotechnics, western receptions of South Asian cultural and intellectuals traditions, methods and theories in the studies of religions.

Prof Andrew J. Nicholson

Prof. Andrew J. Nicholson

Andrew J. Nicholson is Associate Professor of Hinduism and Indian Intellectual History at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. His primary area of research is Indian philosophy and intellectual history, particularly medieval Vedanta and theistic yoga philosophies and their influence in the modern world. His first book, Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History (Columbia University Press, 2010), won the 2011 award for Best First Book in the History of Religions from the American Academy of Religion. Professor Nicholson’s second book, Lord Śiva’s Song: The Īśvara Gītā (SUNY Press, 2014), is an annotated translation of an 8th century Pāśupata Yoga text.

Photo of Dr. James Mallinson

Prof. James Mallinson

James Mallinson is Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical and Indian Studies at SOAS, University of London. Between September 2015-2020, Mallinson was the Principle Investigator of The Haṭha Yoga Project (HYP), a five-year research project funded by the European Research Council and based at SOAS, University of London which aims to chart the history of physical yoga practice by means of philology, i.e. the study of texts on yoga, and ethnography, i.e. fieldwork among practitioners of yoga. From January 2021, Mallison will be the lead on three year project entitled “Light on Hatha Yoga: A critical edition and translation of the Haṭhapradīpikā, the most important premodern text on physical yoga” funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the German Research Foundation Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

Jacqueline Hargreaves

Jacqueline Hargreaves

Jacqueline Hargreaves, BE (Hons), E-RYT, is Coordinator of the SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies and Programme Convenor of YogaStudies Online at SOAS, University of London. She researches the contemporary meeting place between historical practices and their application in a modern (mainly therapeutic) environment.

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