Hamsa Stainton

Assistant Professor, Religious Studies
Undergraduate Director
Primary office:
785-864-5568
Smith Hall, Room 106

Hinduism; Sanskrit poetry, literature and aesthetics; devotion and prayer; Shaivism and Tantric traditions (especially from Kashmir); historiography; the Mahabharata; Indian Buddhism

Ph.D., Columbia University

Hamsa Stainton's research interests include Hinduism; Sanskrit poetry, literature and aesthetics; devotion and prayer; Shaivism and Tantric traditions (especially from Kashmir); historiography; the Mahabharata; Indian Buddhism; and Hinduism outside of India. He studied at Cornell University, Harvard Divinity School, and Columbia University. He has been studying South Asian religions for over a decade and has spent significant time living, traveling, and studying in India. His current research focuses on a specific genre of Sanskrit devotional poetry called the stotra (loosely translated as 'hymn of praise') in the religious and literary history of Kashmir, one of the most dynamic centers of Sanskrit learning in South Asia.


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Welcome back, #jayhawks ! We are so happy to see your bright and shining faces in Smith Hall! Hats off to a great start to spring 2015!
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.