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Archana Venkatesan
Regents of the University of California, Davis (Canton, NY 13617-1501)
Performance and Ritual Culture at Vishnu's Temple in Alvar Tirunagari, South India

The Vishnu Temple at Alvar Tirunagari, South India, preserves three distinctive performance traditions known as Araiyar Cevai (The King’s Service), Kavi Pattu (Song of the Poet) and Dasi Attam (Dance of the Dasi). I intend to use the year long NEH fellowship to document the extensive ritual repertoire of these three performance traditions and to undertake an ethnography of the performers. This year of research will be foundational to an interdisciplinary book-length project that examines the relationships between text, memory, and performance in constituting and transmitting religious knowledge in South India.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Religion, General

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2007 – 6/30/2008