Hamsa Stainton

Academic title(s): 

Assistant Professor, South Asian Religions (Hinduism)

Contact Information
Address: 

3520 University Street, Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2A7, Canada

Fax number: 
514-398-6665
Email address: 
hamsa.stainton [at] mcgill.ca
Degree(s): 

B.A. (Cornell)
M.A. (Wisconsin-Madison)
M.T.S. (Harvard Divinity School)
M.Phil., Ph.D. (Columbia University)

Specialization: 

South Asian religions, particularly Hinduism

Biography: 

Hamsa Stainton is an Assistant Professor in the School of Religious Studies at McGill University. He did his graduate work at Columbia University (Ph.D.) and Harvard Divinity School (M.T.S.) in the United States. He specializes in South Asian religions, particularly Hinduism, and has spent many years studying and traveling in South Asia. He teaches classes on a variety of topics related to the history and diversity of religion in India, including Yoga, the Indian epics, and Gods and Goddesses. His recent research and publications focus on a popular genre of Sanskrit devotional poetry in north India, the hymn of praise.

Courses: 
  • RELG 350 Bhakti Hinduism 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

    (Fall 2017)
  • RELG 545 Ramayana: Multiple Lives 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

    (Winter 2018)
  • RELG 372 Hindu Goddesses 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

    (Summer 2018)
Selected publications: 

Poetry as Prayer in the Sanskrit Hymns of Kashmir. Book manuscript, 260 pages, under review.

Tantrapuṣpāñjali: Tantric Traditions and Philosophy of Kashmir; Studies in Memory of Pandit H.N. Chakravarty, co-edited with Bettina Bäumer. Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. Forthcoming Fall 2017.

"Poetry and Kṣemarāja’s Hermeneutics of Non-dualism." In Tantrapuṣpāñjali: Tantric Traditions and Philosophy of Kashmir; Studies in Memory of Pandit H.N. Chakravarty, edited by Hamsa Stainton and Bettina Bäumer. Forthcoming Fall 2017.

"Tantrapuṣpāñjali: Offerings in Memory of a True Pandit." Introduction to Tantrapuṣpāñjali: Tantric Traditions and Philosophy of Kashmir; Studies in Memory of Pandit H.N. Chakravarty, edited by Hamsa Stainton and Bettina Bäumer. Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. Forthcoming Fll 2017.

“Book Review: Ratnakaṇṭhas Stotras: Sūryastutirahasya, Ratnaśataka und Śambhukṛpāmanoharastava, J. Hanneder, S. Jager, A. Sanderson.” In Indo-Iranian Journal (Brill) 59, no. 4 (2016): 365-370.

"Poetry as Prayer: The Śaiva Hymns of Jagaddhara of Kashmir." Vol. ed. by Jonathan Edelmann. International Journal of Hindu Studies (Springer) 20, no. 2 (2017): 339-354.

"The Courtship of Śiva and Sarasvatī in the Poetry of Jagaddhara of Kashmir." In Tantra and Agama Studies, edited by Raffaele Torella, 281-292. Delhi: Rashtriya Sanskrita Sansthana and D.K. Printworld. Forthcoming.

“Trika.” In The Encyclopedia of Indian Religions: Hinduism, ed. by Rita Sherma. Springer. Forthcoming.

“Somānanda.” In The Encyclopedia of Indian Religions: Hinduism, ed. by Rita Sherma. Springer. Forthcoming.

"Stotras in Jainism and Beyond at the AAS." Jaina Studies: Centre for Jaina Studies Newsletter (London, UK: Centre for Jaina Studies, SOAS), no. 10 (March 2015).

"Pratyābhijñāhṛdayakārikā [Commentary on "The Heart of Recognition"]." Edited by Radhavallabha Tripathi. Saṃskṛtapratibhā: Sahitya Akademi's Quarterly Journal (New Delhi, India: Sahitya Akademi) 54 (January 2015): 109-111.

“Book Review: Ithamar Theodor, Exploring the Bhagavad Gītā: Philosophy, Structure and Meaning (Ashgate, 2010).” In Philosophy East and West 64, no. 3 (July 2014): 807-812.

“Stotras, Sanskrit Hymns.” In Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume Two: Sacred Texts, Ritual Traditions, Arts, Concepts, edited by Knut A. Jacobsen et al., 193-207. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2010.

“Book Review: Laurie L. Patton, The Bhagavad Gita (Penguin Classics, 2008).” South Asia Global Affairs: http://www.saglobalaffairs.com/book-reviews/191-review-the-bhagavad-gita...

Conferences: 

Conference papers and public lectures (Selected)

“Navigating the Ocean of Sanskrit Hymns,” McGill University, Montreal, QC, March 2017

“Approaching Praise Poetry via Kashmir.” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, November 2016.

“Beyond Death and Decay: Literary Innovation in the Sanskrit Hymns of Kashmir.” Annual Conference on South Asia Conference, Madison, WI, October 2016.

“Devotional Poetry and the Poetics of Devotion: On the History of Bhaktirasa in Kashmir.” American Oriental Society Annual Meeting, Boston, March 2016.

"Aesthetics and Religious Experience in the Non-dual Hymns of Kashmir." Religion in South Asia Conference, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, March 2015.

"Rebooting Hindu Hymns." South Asian Studies Seminar Series, University of Iowa, Iowa City. September 2015.

"Poetry as Prasāda: Sanskrit Stotras and the Nature of Bhakti." Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Philadelphia, March 2014.

“Poetry as Prayer: The Śaiva Hymns of Jagaddhara of Kashmir.” American Academy of Religion National Meeting, Baltimore, November 2013.

“Tantric Poetry and Poetics: Rethinking Stotras from Kashmir.” American Academy of Religion National Meeting, Baltimore, November 2013.

 “The Mahābhārata Today: Insights from the Great War of Ancient India,” Global Food for Thought Lecture Series, CGIS, University of Kansas, October 2012.

“The Courtship of Śiva and Sarasvatī in the Poetry of Jagaddhara of Kashmir,” 15th World Sanskrit Conference in Delhi, India, January 2012.