Each year SASA recognizes a scholar for exemplary work over a span of years. Selection is a continuous searching and winnowing process. Although there are a great many deserving names advanced each year, the board leans towards individuals who, in its judgment, deserve greater recognition than the years have afforded. We are proud to have, among those selected, the following world-class scholars and teachers.
2014, Dr. Paul R. Brass.
(Ph.D., University of Chicago). Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Washington, Dr. Brass is a prodigious scholar with nearly two score books in print, including a two volume biography of Charan Singh, several monographs examining ethnicity and caste in politics, and multiple ground breaking studies on the origin and management of political violence. A full listing of Paul’s monographs can be found on his personal website.
2013, Dr. Alexander Dubiansky.
(Ph.D., Moscow State University). Dr. Dubiansky teaches Tamil Studies at the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University. Although not well-known to Western Indologists, he is one of the foremost scholars of the Tamil tradition working today. His major monographs, in Russian, include Ritual and Mythological Background of Ancient Tamil Lyrics (1989), Tamil Literature: an Outline (in cooperation with L. Bychikhinam 1987), and Songs on Palm-Leaves. An Anthology of Ancient Tamil Lyrics (1979). Ritual and Mythological Sources of the Early Tamil Poetry (2000) is available in English. In addition, Dr. Dubiansky is the author of several dozen research papers in both Russian and English. At least as important as these contributions are, he excels as a teacher and mentor to the next generation of scholars.
2012, Dr. Alfred Hiltebeitel.
(Ph.D., University of Chicago Divinity School). Dr. Hiltebeitel is a professor of religion at the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, George Washington University. Throughout his career his central focus of research has been the great epics of India (specifically the Mahabharata and Ramayana), regional folk epics, and the cult of the goddess Draupadi. He has authored, edited, and translated many books and dozens of articles. Among his books are Dharma: Its Early History in Law, Religion, and Narrative (2011), The Rutual of Battle: Krishna in the Mahabharata (1990), The Cult of Draupadi (1988, 1991), and Rethinking India’s Oral and Classical Epics: Draupadi Among Muslims, Hindus, and Dalits (1999).
2011, Dr. Joe Dye.
Joe has served in multiple capacities at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, but always as Curator of its South Asia collection, which he built throughout his career. However, publishing “The Arts of India” in 2001, it remained a hidden gem known to only a handful of people. Subsequently, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has achieved recognition as home to a world-class collection of South Asian art. Without Joe’s dedication and lifetime of service it would not have happened.
2010, Dr. Stanley Wolpert.
(Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania). Professor Wolpert academic home is the History Department, University of California, Los Angeles beginning as an instructor in 1959 and continuing on through retirement. A prolific writer, Wolpert’s major academic publicatons include Tilak and Gokhale: Revolution and Reform in the Making of Modern India (1962)., Morley and India, 1906-1910 (1967), A New History of India, (1977, 1989, 1993), Roots of Confrontation in South Asia (1982), Jinnah of Pakistan (1984), Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan (1993), Nehru: A Tryst with Destiny (1996). He is also a significant interpreter of South Asia to popular Western audiences, most famously via his novel Nine Hours to Rama, which was later turned into a popular movie of the same name.
2009, Dr. Harold A. Gould.
(PhD, Washington University). Hal served as professor of anthropology and South Asian Studies at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, from 1968 to 1991. Since then he has been a visiting professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. His research focus has been on grass-roots political behavior and commentary on South Asian politics. His major publications include The Hindu Caste System. Vol 1: The Sacralization of a Social Order, 1987; The Hindu Caste System, Vol 2: Caste Adaptation in Modernizing Indian Society, 1988; The Hindu Caste System, Vol. 3: Politics and Caste, 1990; Grass-Roots Politics in India: A Century of Political Evolution in Faizabad District, 1994; Sikhs, Swamis, Students and Spies: The India Lobby in the United States, 1900-1946, 2006; The South Asia Story: The First Sixty Years of U.S. Relation with India and Pakistan. New Delhi: Sage Publications 2010.
2008, Dr. Pratapaditya Pal.
(PhD, University of Calcutta). Prior to retiring, Dr. Pal served the Himalaya and/or South Asia curator for several world-class museums (Boston Museum of Fine Art, Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art), in addition to teaching at a number of major universities. Dr. Pal is general editor of Marg, A Magazine of the Arts. An internationally respected authority on art and culture in the Subcontinent, particularly the Himalayas, and Southeast Asia, Dr. Pal has authored over 60 publications including such landmark monographs as: Dancing to the Flute: Music and Dance in Indian Art, Light of Asia, and Goddess Durga: The Power and The Glory. In 2009 he was awarded the Padma Shri by the President of India.