Associate Professor of Religion




James McHugh studies the cultural and material history of pre-modern India. He works on classical and early medieval Indian materials, mainly working with Sanskrit texts. His first book, “Sandalwood and Carrion: Smell in Indian Religion and Culture” (Oxford University Press, 2012) is about is the sense of smell and the use of aromatics in South Asian religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. He is currently working on a second book: “An Unholy Brew: Alcohol in Indian Religion and History” (under contract with Oxford University Press), about alcohol in South Asian history and religions. This book will draw on textual, art-historical, and ethnographic research into drinking. He also has an interest in the history of gemstones and magic in South Asia.