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Description of research and teaching

PhD research project: Can YouTube be a Guru? Indian Dance Gurus in Transformation: Changing Perceptions of Their Status, Role and Function from Text to Digital Media

My PhD research project explores the transformations in the figure of guru and his authority in Indian society from classical Sanskrit texts to the contemporary mediatized contexts, focusing on the gurus of Indian classical kathak dance. Gurus traditionally have a specific and highly revered position in Indian society – they can be seen as an embodiment of authority. Gurus and guru-like figures can be found everywhere in Indian society, from religions and arts to politics and business. This research focuses on kathak dance as the base of exploration, examining the changes and continuities in the authority ascribed to the guru in the transmission of dance heritage from one generation to the next. The approach is multi-disciplinary, combining methodological and theoretical elements from South Asian Studies, Religious Studies, Ethnology, and Communication and Media Studies.

The PhD project has been funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation / Suomen kulttuurirahasto (Aug 2017 - Jul 2018) and SYLFF (Aug 2018 - Jul 2019).

Education/Academic qualification

South Asian Studies, MA, University of Helsinki

Award Date: 17 Sep 2002

Fields of Science

  • 6160 Other humanities