David L. Gitomer is a specialist in the religions and literatures of pre-modern South Asia, with an emphasis on epics, dramas, poetry, and aesthetic theories composed in the Sanskrit language that bridge art and religion. In addition to his doctoral work in the United States, he has also studied in traditional settings with pandits in India, and conducted manuscript research throughout South Asia. A strong area of expertise is the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata and its related versions in drama and Indian vernacular languages. His published works include contributions to Theater of Memory: the Plays of Kalidasa (1984). His work appears in several anthologies about the Mahabharata and Indian literature, as well as journals such as the Journal of the American Oriental Society, the Journal of South Asian Literature, and the International Journal of Hindu Studies. More recently, he is the author of "Can Men Change: Kalidasa's Seducer King in the Thicket of Sanskrit Poetics" in Revisiting Abhijnanasakuntalam: Love, Lineage and Language in Kalidasa's Nataka (Orient Black Swan, 2011) and the Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics article on Indian aesthetics (2014). He is currently completing The Binding of the Braid: the great epic as classical drama, a translation and study of the Venisamhara of Bhatta Narayana (Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2019). As a contribution to the University of Chicago Mahabharata translation project, he is translating The Book of Bhisma, which includes the Hindu religious classic, the Bhagavad Gita. In the past several years
he has been invited to present papers at international conferences in Edinburgh, Dubrovnik and Delhi and the Annual Conference on South Asia in Madison, WI. He has been a faculty mentor in online teaching and learning, and a national leader in graduate interdisciplinary education, having served as president of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs.
- Hindu Epics
- Sanskirt Drama and Poetry
- Pre-modern South Asian Civilizations
Courses Frequently Taught
- AAS 224/ REL 242 "Hindu Thought and Culture"
- LSP 112 "Focal Point Seminar: Gandhi and His Legacy"
- REL 243 "Buddhist Thought in Cultural Context"
- REL 344 "Yoga and Tantra"