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Dr Sowparnika Balaswaminathan

Assistant Professor, Religions and Cultures

Dr Sowparnika Balaswaminathan

Teaching activities



RELI 344 Hindu Myths & Narrative                                        Winter, 2022

RELI 347 Religion & the Arts in south & Southeast Asia        Winter, 2022


RELI 6007 Religion, Politics, and Heritage                              Fall, 2021

Pedagogy Workshops & Training

2019 NEH Seminar for College and University Teachers on “Museums: Humanities in the Public sphere,” Georgetown University & University of California, Santa Cruz. Instructors: Karen Bassi & Gretchen Henderson.

2018 NEH Seminar for College and University Teachers on “The Bhagavad Gita: Ancient Poem. Modern Readers,” Yale University, New Haven. Instructor: Richard Davis.

2017 NEH Institute for College and University Faculty on “Rome and Migration,” University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Instructors: Michael Mass, Richard Talbert, & others.

2016 Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars Program, UC San Diego.

2016 Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning &Center for Engaged Teaching Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars Program.

2015 Nancy Sommers workshop on evaluating student writing.

2009 Making of the Modern World (UC San Diego) Pedagogy Seminar.


Journal Articles

Balaswaminathan, Sowparnika. 2020. “The Outsider.” Anthropology and Humanism 45(1):92-99.

Balaswaminathan, Sowparnika. 2019. "The Real Thing: Craft, Caste, and Commerce in Late Capitalist India." Journal of Modern Craft 11(2):127-141.

Balaswaminathan, Sowparnika. 2016. "Icons & Identities: Tradition in the Work & Life of Swamimalai Bronzecasters in Tamilnadu." Marg 63(3): 10-23.

Book Chapters

Balaswaminathan, Sowparnika. 2022. “The Knez Collection: Negotiating the Personal and Political through the Material.” Eds. Jennifer Shannon and Joshua Bell. Putting Theory and Things Together: Working With Museum Collections, Smithsonian Institution. Forthcoming.

Balaswaminathan, Sowparnika & Thomas Levy. 2018. “Consuming Indian-ness: Capitalism, Handicrafts and Nationhood in India.” Eds. Lorraine Lim and Hye-Kyung Lee. Handbook on Cultural and Creative Industries in Asia, pp.349-361, Routledge, London & New York. 

Book Reviews

Balaswaminathan, Sowparnika. 2021.“Book Review of Across Anthropology: Troubling Colonial Legacies, Museums, and the Curatorial.” Museum Anthropology. EarlyView.


Balaswaminathan, Sowparnika. 2017   “Recasting Museums as Infrastructure: Explorations in a World Café.” Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage – Reflections Blog.

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