Position title: Assistant Professor, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
Van Hise Hall
1220 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706
- Faculty Webpage
- Jamal Jones
Jamal Jones works on the literary history of premodern south India, with a focus on poetry in Sanskrit and Telugu. He is particularly interested in how poetic practices intersect with the fields of religion and politics. Two projects in progress consider this area. The first is a book tentatively titled “Powers Beyond Words: Ritual, Astrology, and the Politics of Poetry in South India.” Reconsidering often marginalized notions of poetry as magic, the book suggests that paying attention to these can (perhaps counterintuitively) illuminate the social, political, and material conditions of literary activity. The second project is a translation and study of “The Nine Masters” (or Navanāthacaritramu), a fifteenth-century Telugu long poem composed by the poet Gaurana at the temple complex of Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh. The work offers one of the earliest accounts of the origins and adventures of the founding figures of the Nathsampraday, a tradition of yogi ascetics and wonder-workers.
Jamal holds a BA (Religious Studies, 2008) and PhD (South Asian Languages and Civilizations, 2018) from the University of Chicago. Before joining the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UW-Madison, he worked in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Davis.