Nell Shapiro Hawley
I study the Mahābhārata and its early iterations in Sanskrit poetry and drama. In addition to serving as Preceptor in Sanskrit here at Harvard, I am currently completing my PhD in South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. My dissertation is titled "The War That Wasn't: The Virāṭaparvan, the Pañcarātra, and the Fantasy Life of the Mahābhārata."
I am the co-editor of Many Mahābhāratas (SUNY Press, 2021), a collection of eighteen essays on interpretations of the Mahābhārata from an expansive range of South Asian languages, genres, and historical periods.
At Harvard, I teach Sanskrit language classes at all levels. In 2020-21, I facilitated a discussion group for undergraduates where we read (nearly all of!) the Mahābhārata in English translation. At UChicago, I designed and taught the undergraduate course "Yoga: Texts, Practices, Politics" and taught elementary and intermediate Sanskrit. Between 2015 and 2018, I worked as a Teaching Consultant at the Chicago Center for Teaching (CCT). In 2018-19, I served as a CCT Fellow, in which capacity I helped lead workshops on teaching literature and on teaching ancient and classical languages.
Photo credit: Serena Shah '21