Prof. David Mason to Conduct Research in India as Recipient of Distinguished Fulbright Award

image of college professor Dave Mason
photo by Eric H. Adeleye

Dr. David Mason, an associate professor in the Media Studies Program at Rhodes College, is the recipient of a Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship. The distinguished Fulbright award will allow him to conduct research from May 2022 through January 2023 for his project, titled “Theatre In North India,” in affiliation with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

The Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships aim to provide U.S. faculty, researchers, and professionals the opportunity to teach, conduct research, or carry out a combination of teaching and research at an Indian institution.
Mason has expertise in theater history, performance theory, theater in India, and religion and theater. He has been interested in the correlation of theatrical performance and religious practice and the participation that they require. Mason has focused on India where, according to him, theater and religion are often overtly participatory and where, consequently, community dependence on theater is clear.

In addition to earning a Ph.D. in theatre research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mason studied Sanskrit at the University of Poona—which is now Savitribai Phule Pune University—one of the premier universities in India. He held his first Fulbright Fellowship in 2001-02. He also has published on classical Sanskrit aesthetics, Ras Lila theater, and other theater matters.

Mason’s publications include three books—Theatre and Religion on Krishna’s Stage; Brigham Young: Sovereign in America; and The Performative Ground of Religion and Theatre. In addition, he has served as editor of the peer-reviewed journal Ecumenica since 2016 and as the South Asia area editor for Asian Theatre Journal since 2019. He was a board member of the Association for Asian Performance for many years. Mason currently is the co-convenor of the Performance, Religion, and Spirituality working group of the International Federation for Theatre Research. At Rhodes, he has served as chair of the Department of Theatre and as director of the Asian Studies Program

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