Dheepa Sundaram

Dheepa Sundaram

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Department/Affiliation: Religious Studies, South Asian Studies
Phone: 330-263-2102
Office Address: 003 Kauke


  • B.A., Indiana University, 2000
  • M.A., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2010
  • Ph.D., University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 2014

Courses Taught

  • Performing India
  • Death and Dying in Hinduism
  • Yoga in History and Practice
  • Hinduism through Text
  • Modern Hinduism
  • Asian Humanities: Introduction to the Canonical
    Literature of South Asia (in translation)
  • Intensive course in Elementary Sanskrit I and II
  • Intermediate Sanskrit I and II
  • Introduction to Hinduism
  • East and West in Pop Culture Film
  • Kālidāsa to Bollywood: Performance in India


Dheepa Sundaram is an Assistant Professor of South Asian Religions at the College of Wooster. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative and World Literatures from the University of Illinois (2014) with a focus on Sanskrit and Tamil performance traditions and intersections of ritual, poetics, and politics in modern Tamil drama. Her teaching and research interests include Sanskrit language/aesthetics/drama, South Asian religious traditions/mythologies/literatures, South Asian ritual and practice in the virtual space, Tamil drama and performance 1900-1935, South Indian performance and ritual traditions, English and Irish Modernist Drama/Literature/Theory, and Postcolonial and Cultural studies. She recently joined the SARIT project funded by the NEH to produce a corpus of digitized Sanskrit texts. Dr. Sundaram's current research focuses on performance and cultural memory in ritual and political contexts within India and in the diaspora. Selected works in progress include: "Youtube Yoga and Ritual on Demand: The Virtual Economy of Modern Hindu Soteriology" (under review); "Aesthetics as Resistance: Rasika as Apimān̠i (Spectator as Patriot) in Tamil Protest Drama" (under review); and “Imaging/Imagining the Nation: Theosophy, Origins, and Nationalism in W.B. Yeats’s Cathleen ni Houlihan and Swaminatha Sarma’s Pāṇapuratu Vīran̠."  Additionally, Dr. Sundaram is coediting a Purāṇa-s reader with Deven Patel (University of Pennsylvania) and compiling a Sanskrit reader for intermediate students with Rajeshwari Pandharipande (University of Illinois) both for release in Autumn 2018.