Meet Our Advisors
The “Engaging India” initiative is guided by a group of ASIANetwork faculty who advise our activities and vision for this programming area. Please contact any of our advisors for further information, or the ASIANetwork Director of “Engaging India,” Dan Choffnes.
Professor of English
University of Puget Sound
Priti Joshi teaches in the English department with an affiliate position in the Asian Studies program. She specializes in nineteenth-century British literature and culture, with a secondary specialization in post-colonial literature and film. She is the author of Empire News: The Anglo-Indian Press Writes India (SUNY Press 2021), a book on 19th-century Indian newspapers and their response to crises. She has also published on several Victorian novelists (the Brontës, George Eliot, and Charles Dickens); on India in the 1851 Great Exhibition; and on advertisements in Indian periodicals. She has directed her university’s unique PacRim program, traveling and studying with students through South and Southeast Asia. In addition, she teaches courses on: 19th-century women writers, including the Brontë sisters, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot; the Invention of Britishness; Indian Fiction; Bollywood Film; Travel Writing; and the nonfiction prose essay.
Professor of Sociology
Dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Daniel Jasper is a cultural sociologist who focuses on religious and political identity in western India. His work investigates how the past is remembered and celebrated as a means to articulate meaningful identities in the present. He coedited, with Dušan Deák, the volume Rethinking Western India: The Changing Contexts of Culture, Society and Religion (Orient BlackSwan 2014) and has recently published chapters including “Blurred Lines: Historical Knowledge and the Politics of Statues” in Bina Sengar and Laurie McMillen (Eds) Spaces and Places in Western India: Formations and Delineations (Routledge 2019) and “Maratha Rule (1674-1818)” in Oxford Bibliographies in Hinduism, edited by Tracy Coleman (Oxford University Press 2018).
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Los Angeles, California
Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa specializes in Buddhism in Tibet, the East and South Asian Himalayas, and beyond. She is the author of The Social Life of Tibetan Biography: Textuality, Community and Authority in the Lineage of Tokden Shakya Shri (Lexington 2014), which explores the trans-Himalayan travels that shaped religious communities inspired by the Tibetan yogi Tokden Shakya Shri (1853-1919). Her research explores the cosmological and material interactions that have shaped the cultures and histories of the Himalayas on a regional and global level. She teaches courses that connect religion to cultural history, community formation, empire, gender, media, material culture and anthropology.
Associate Professor of Political Science
Steve Hess is a political scientist who studies authoritarianism, post-communism, protest politics, Chinese politics and China-Africa relations. He is the author of “The Role of China and Asymmetric Bargaining in Ethiopia’s Authoritarian Backsliding” in the edited volume, Christof Hartmann and Nele Noesselt (Eds) China’s New Role in African Politics (Taylor & Francis 2019) and the article, with Richard Aidoo, “Chinese Development Assistance and Democratic Backsliding in Sub-Saharan Africa” in Commonwealth & Comparative Politics (2019), among many others. He teaches in the areas of international politics (Africa, Asia), political development, and human rights. He is also director of Transylvania University’s Peace Corps preparation program.
Past Chair, ASIANetwork Board of Directors
Director of the “Engaging India” Initiative
Dan Choffnes is an ethnobotanist specializing in medicinal plants, traditional medicine, and the science and culture of tea. He is the author of Nature’s Pharmacopeia: A World of Medicinal Plants (Columbia 2016) and articles on the contemporary tea industry in East Asia. His current projects are related to aesthetics and craft in teamaking. He is Associate Professor Emeritus of Biology and Asian Studies at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.