Vijaya Vijaya Nagarajan

PhD; Award winning author and associate professor at the University of San Francisco


Vijaya Nagarajan, PhD, is an associate professor of Comparative Religions and Environmental Studies at the University of San Francisco, a Hindu among the Jesuits. She has also taught at Harvard University and UC Berkeley. She teaches courses on Hinduism, Religion and Environment, Community Internships, Commons: Land, Water and Air, and Voice, Memory and Landscape: Spiritual Autobiographies of Place. She has won awards from Fulbright-Hays, American Institute of Indian Studies, NEH Chair at USF, Davies Chair, Djerrasi Writing Fellowship, among many others. She received her PhD in South Asian Studies, Art History and Anthropology from University of California, Berkeley in 1998. Her book, Feeding a Thousand Souls: Women, Ritual and Ecology in India, an Exploration of the Kōlam (Oxford University Press, New York), is forthcoming in 2017. Before becoming a professor in 1997, Vijaya worked in the Bay Area as a full-time activist for 18 years, from 1984-2002. She and her husband, Lee Swenson, started the Recovery of the Commons Project in 1984. They also founded the Institute for the Study of Natural & Cultural Resources, a tiny backpack non-profit, in 1986, which is still around today.

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