Pranav Prakash

Pranav Prakash
PhD Student

Pranav Prakash is a Presidential Fellow of the Graduate College at the University of Iowa where he is reading for a Ph.D. in Religious Studies. He is broadly interested in the history and development of literary, religious, and intellectual traditions in Iran and South Asia. He specializes in Persian, Sanskrit, Prakrit and Awadhi literatures, and he is an avid reader of Pali, Hindi, Urdu, Maithili and Bengali literary works. As a researcher, he investigates diverse aspects of manuscript cultures, print textuality, religious poetry and literary history.

His doctoral research explores the poetic oeuvre of Ḥasan-i Sijzī Dihlavī (1253 – c.1336), its creative and critical engagement with early modern literary cultures, performative traditions, mystical thought and vernacular audiences. His doctoral dissertation is being supervised by Prof. Frederick M. Smith and Prof. Philip A. Lutgendorf. Prof. Carl. W. Ernst, Prof. Paul R. Greenough and Prof. Morten Schlütter are members of his dissertation committee.

The American Institute of Indian Studies, Chicago, granted him a Junior Research Fellowship and the Thomas W. Simons Fellowship for conducting archival and ethno-historiographic research in India in 2016-17. In the fall of 2016, he was an academic visitor at the Royal Holloway, University of London, and the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan, Dushanbe. In the spring of 2016, he was a visiting scholar at the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, University of North Carolina.  

In 2014, he graduated summa cum laude (darje-ye ‘āli) with an MA in Iranian Studies from the University of Tehran. His MA dissertation is entitled Old Persian Story, New Iranian Book: The Politics of Textual Criticism in Iran (Dāstān-e Kohan-e Fārsi, Kitāb-e Novin-e Irān: Siyāsat-e Taṣḥiḥ-e Motun dar Irān) and it investigates the political underpinnings of manuscriptology, codicology and critical textual editing of classical Persian literary works in modern Iran. His dissertation was supervised by Dr. Iraj Shahbāzi. Dr. Ismail Salami and Dr. Muhammad Samiei were the adjudicating members of his academic committee.

He is the chief editor of the H-Net Mideast Politics (Humanities and Social Sciences Online, Michigan State University). He has been a regular translator of Persian abstracts for the Muslim Civilizations Abstracts Project at the Aga Khan University, London. At Iowa, he served as a primary instructor and teaching assistant for the departments of Religious Studies and Classics. He taught Sanskrit and Prakrit at the summer schools organized by the American Institute of Indian Studies, Chicago, in the precincts of the Deccan College, Pune. He taught Sanskrit to Iranian students at the Khāne-ye Honar in Tehran, Iran.

He used to host a regular talk show on the national radio of Iran, Ṣedā va Simā-ye Jamhuri-ye Islāmi-ye Iran, under the direction of Ms. Ṭāhira Julāni. He is deeply interested in classical Persian and Hindustani music, and he ardently loves painting and calligraphy.

Advisor:
Dr. Frederick M. Smith

Awards & Service: 

2016 - 2017

Junior Research Fellowship, American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS), Chicago.
Thomas W. Simons Fellowship, AIIS, Chicago.
T. Anne Cleary Fellowship for International Dissertation Research Fellowship, University of Iowa.

2015

Alice Lampe Heidel & John B. Heidel Award in recognition of commitment to teaching and exceptional service to undergraduate students, Department of Religious Studies, University of Iowa.

2014 – 2017

Presidential Fellowship, Graduate College, University of Iowa.

2012 – 2014

University of Tehran’s Academic Scholarship for Graduate Studies in recognition of academic excellence in the field of Iranian Studies; awarded consecutively for the academic years 2012-13 and 2013-14 by the Faculty of World Studies, Tehran.

2012

Barbara W. and Rex E. Montgomery Award for academic excellence in the field of religious studies, Department of Religious Studies, University of Iowa, US.

2012

Stanley – University of Iowa Summer Language Scholarship.

2011

Stanley Fellowship for Graduate Student Research Abroad, University of Iowa.

2011

Stanley – University of Iowa Summer Language Scholarship.

2010 - 2012

Presidential Fellowship, Graduate College, University of Iowa.