Gananath Obeyesekere

Professor Emeritus
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Ph.D. University of Washington 1964

religion, social theory, psychological anthropology; Sri Lanka, South India, Voyages of Discovery

short bio
Gananath Obeyesekere has engaged in fieldwork in Sri Lanka and India. He is most interested in psychoanalysis and anthropology and the ways in which personal symbolism is related to religious experience. He has recently become interested in European voyages of discovery to Polynesia in the 18th century and after, and the implications of these voyages for the development of ethnography. His books include Land Tenure in Village Ceylon, Medusa's Hair, The Cult of the Goddess Pattini, Buddhism Transformed (coauthor), The Work of Culture, The Apotheosis of Captain Cook: European Mythmaking in the Pacific, and Making Karma. Professor Obeyesekere teaches classes in psychoanalysis and anthropology, hermeneutics, social anthropology, and Buddhism.