Philip Lutgendorf

Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literature
University of Iowa

Philip Lutgendorf is Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies and has taught in the University of Iowa’s Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literature since 1985. He regularly offers Hindi language classes as well as courses on written and oral narrative traditions of South Asia, including Indian film. His book on the performance of the Ramayana epic, The Life of a Text (University of California Press, 1991) won the A. K. Coomaraswamy Prize of the Association for Asian Studies. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002-03 for his research on the popular Hindu “monkey-god” Hanuman, which has appeared as Hanuman’s Tale, The Messages of a Divine Monkey (Oxford University Press, 2007). His interests include epic performance traditions, folklore and popular culture, and mass media.  He maintains a website devoted to popular Hindi cinema, a.k.a. “Bollywood” ( In 2010 he received a Fulbright-Hays fellowship to conduct research on the cultural history of “chai,” and also began work on a planned three-volume, dual-language edition and translation of the sixteenth-century Hindi epic, Rāmcaritmānas, for the Murty Classical Library of India/Harvard University Press. He serves as President of the American Institute of Indian Studies (