Davesh Soneji

Faculty of Religious Studies


Photo of Davesh Soneji

Birks Building, [Map]
3520 rue University Montreal Quebec Canada
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2A7
514.398.3291 [Office]



Davesh Soneji is Associate Professor of South Asian Religions at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He is the author of Unfinished Gestures: Devadasis, Memory and Modernity in South India (University of Chicago Press, 2012; Permanent Black, 2012), a study that examines the social history of women in devadasi communities over the past two hundred years drawing from extensive archival and ethnographic work. He is also editor of Bharatanatyam: A Reader (Oxford, 2010), and co-editor of Performing Pasts: Reinventing the Arts in Modern South India (Oxford, 2008). Prof. Soneji is also the co-founder and director of The Mangala Initiative, a non-profit organization centred on social justice issues for hereditary performing artists in South India. He is currently completing a short book on the eighteenth and nineteenth-century traditions of Marathi kirtan in Tamilnadu and their influence on the making of Karnatak music, as well as another book on the politics of writing feminist biography tentatively titled Afterlives: Eight Women Speak to their Pasts and Futures.