Position title: Ph.D. Candidate; Teaching Assistant
L122 Conrad A. Elvehjem Building
Virtual Office Hours: Wednesdays and Fridays, 1:30–2:30pm and by appointment.
Ujaan’s research focuses on the architectural and religious History of Modern South Asia. His dissertation tentatively titled, “Producing Puri: The Discursive Productions of a Hindu Holy City in Colonial India” looks at the ways in which religion was imbricated in art, politics, and pedagogy in Colonial South Asia. Ujaan’s research articles have appeared in History of Religions, Modern Asian Studies, and the Journal of American Academy of Religion. Even though his work primarily focuses on Odisha, he has also published on the religious and urban history of colonial Calcutta. As an avocation Ujaan is interested in the precolonial history of vernacular literary cultures in South Asia. Of particular interest to him is the intersection between Sanskrit and Regional literature in Eastern India, at the wake of early modernity. He is also involved in a number of translation projects, and have coauthored a translation of Upendra Bhanja’s Baidehisha Bilasa.
Urban History; Religious Studies; Anthropology of Pilgrimage and Tourism; Psychoanalysis; Vernacular literary Cultures; Sanskrit Poetics; Odia Literature; The Ramayana
“Refiguring Baidehīśa Bilāsa: Reading the Queer and the Erotic in Upendra Bhanja’s Rāmāyaṇa,” with Amrita Chowdhury. Journal of the American Academy of Religion 88 (2020):569–93.
“Combating ‘Filth’: The Temple, the state and Urbanization in late nineteenth century Puri.” Modern Asian Studies 53, no.6 (2019):1849–91.
“Chariots of Gods: Juggernaut, Jagannath and the many histories of the Rathayatra in the nineteenth century.” History of Religions 58, no.1 (2018):64–88.
“Temple Sites, Colonial Anxieties, and the Politics of Association in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Kalighat,” in Religious Pluralism in Contemporary Society, ed. Ruby Sain, 71–82. New Delhi: Mittal Publications, 2021.
“Class and Tenancy Relations in Calcutta, 1914–1926,” with Bandyopadhyay Ritajyoti, in Urban Housing, Livelihoods, and Environmental Change in Emerging Economies, ed. Annapurna Shaw and Rajesh Bhattacharya. Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2021. Forthcoming.