Vasudha Narayanan is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Florida and a past President of the American Academy of Religion (2001-2002). She was educated at the Universities of Madras and Bombay in India and at Harvard University. Her fields of interest are the Sri Vaishnava tradition; Hindu traditions in India, Cambodia, and America; visual and expressive cultures in the study of the Hindu traditions; and gender issues. She is currently working on Hindu temples and traditions in Cambodia. Dr. Narayanan and the University of Florida have created the nation's first Center for the Study of Hindu Traditions (CHiTra) to encourage the research, teaching, and public understanding of Hindu culture and traditions.
Professor Narayanan is the author or editor of seven books and over ninety articles, chapters in books, and encyclopedia entries. Her research has been supported by grants and fellowships from several organizations, including the Centre for Khmer Studies (2007); the American Council of Learned Societies (2004-2005); National Endowment for the Humanities (1987, 1989-90, and 1998-99), the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1991-92), the American Institute of Indian Studies/ Smithsonian, and the Social Science Research Council. She was the president of the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies from 1996-1998. Her books include The Life of Hinduism (co-edited with John Stratton Hawley); Hinduism ; The Vernacular Veda: Revelation, Recitation, and Ritual; The Way and the Goal: Expressions of Devotion in the Early Srivaisnava Tradition; and The Tamil Veda: Pillan's Interpretation of the Tiruvaymoli (co-authored with John Carman).