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KHK Visiting Research Fellow 2011, Curator "South Asia", British Museum, London, UK

Michael Willis is curator in the Department of Asia at the British Museum, London. He has curatorial charge of the early south Asian and Himalayan collections from the late centuries BCE to the circa fourteenth century CE. Before joining the British Museum in 1994 he taught art history at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Michael Willis is director and convener of the Vidisha Research Group hosted by the British Association of South Asian Studies (British Academy), London. He is also a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and an Honorary Research Fellow at Cardiff University. He has been a visiting professor at the Collège de France, the University of Groningen and at SOAS, University of London.

Michael Willis’ main research field is the political, cultural and religious history of north India from the fifth to the thirteenth centuries. During his time at Bochum he will investigate the inter-religious dynamics of mantra and dharani in the religious traditions of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. As part of his research he will organize a conference on the topic, named “Words Without Meaning and Meaning Without Words” which is planned for spring 2012.

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British Museum