Prof. Dr. Rahul Peter Das
Retired Professor for Sprachen und Kulturen des neuzeitlichen Südasiens (Languages and Cultures of post-classical South Asia)
Born on 7.7.1954 in Haan (Germany)


School in India: Relocated to Calcutta in early 1958. Attended St. Lawrence High School (secular Jesuit school; Bengali medium until class 6, then English medium) until 1972. Passed the Higher Secondary Examination of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education with distinction in Mathematics. Obtained a National Merit Certificate. In 1968 also passed the Junior Air Certificate I Examination from the No.1 Bengal Air Squadron National Cadet Corps.
College in India: Joined Calcutta Medical College in 1972; was sent to Maulana Azad College (Calcutta University) for Pre-Medical classes. Passed the Preliminary Examination for Medical Students in 1973. Was awarded the Dunlop India Ltd. Scholarship and a Science Fair Award by the Jagadish Bose National Science Talent Search in 1973. Represented India at the London International Youth Science Fortnight, 1973.
German high school: Returned to Germany in 1974. Had to attend high school again, passing out of the Städtische Helmholtz-Gymnasium in Hilden in 1975.
University education: Took up Indology (including courses in Indo-European Studies), with Islamic Studies and Dravidology (Tamil Studies) at the University of Cologne in 1975. Attended classes at the University of Bonn too. Enrolled at the University of Hamburg in 1978; also attended classes at the University of Kiel.
M.A. degree: 1981 from the University of Hamburg; thesis: "pā und pāpmán im Śatapathabrāhmaa"(as yet unpublished, a revised version is being prepared for publication).
Doctorate (Dr.phil.): 1985 from the University of Hamburg; thesis: "Surapālas Vkṣāyurveda" (published in 1988).
Habilitation: 1993 from the University of Hamburg; thesis: "The Origin of the Life of a Human Being. Conception and the Female according to Ancient Indian Medical and Sexological Literature" (published in 2003).

Teaching, research, awards

— From 1981 to 1986 wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (researcher) at the University of Hamburg, from 1986 to 1991 at the University of Bonn.
— From 1993 to 1994 onderzoeker (researcher) at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) as a Fellow of the Wellcome Trust, London.
— From 1981 until 1994 and from 1996 until 1998 also Lehrbeauftragter (part-time lecturer) at the University of Hamburg.
— Since October 1994 professor for the philology of modern Indian languages (Neuindische Philologie), since October 2015 for languages and cultures of post-classical South Asia (Sprachen und Kulturen des neuzeitlichen Südasiens) at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg); retired in September 2020.
— Instituted a new M.A.and doctoral course Sprachen und Kulturen des neuzeitlichen Südasiens (Languages and Cultures of Post-Classical South Asia) at the University in 2000; the M.A. course being phased out since 2006.
— Instituted two new B.A courses Südasienkunde/South Asian Studies and Interkulturelle Südasienkunde (Intercultural South Asian Studies) in 2006, and an M.A. course Südasienkunde/South Asian Studies in 2009..
— Introduced Südasienkunde (South Asian Studies) as an optional elective part of the courses on Economics, Business Administration, and Computer Science for Business Administration in 2002; phased out since 2006.
— In the winter semester of 1994/95 substituted as professor of Indology at the University of  Marburg.
— Visiting professor at Peking University (Beijing) in May 1999.
— Visiting professor at the Jagiellonian University (Cracow) in October-November 2018.
— External examiner at the following universities:
    Universität Hamburg (Germany)
    Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Netherlands)
    Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany)
    Stockholms Universitet (Sweden)
    Universiteit van Amsterdam (Netherlands)
    Banaras Hindu University (India)
    Göteborgs Universitet (Sweden)
    Acharya Nagarjuna University (India)
    Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (India)
— Received the NRI Welfare Society of India's Hind Rattan Award in 2006 and Nav Rattan Award in 2009.
— A supervised doctoral dissertation received the Research Prize of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft (German Oriental Society) in 1998.
— In 2006 initiated the Arbeitskreis Neuzeitliches Südasien (Working Group on Post-classical South Asia) within the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Asienkunde (German Association for Asian Studies).
— From 2016 to 2019 president of  the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Asienkunde (German Association for Asian Studies).
— Initiator of a two-part workshop (April and October 2002) organised by the Strategic Bureau of the Austrian Ministry of Defence, to draw up parameters for European defence strategy in a comprehensive Eurasian setting.
— Consultant on a documentary on Ayurveda ("Die Ärzte der Maharadschas" in the series "Im Bann der Grünen Götter"), first aired in March 2004 during evening prime time by the major German public television station ZDF.

Journals and Series

— Co-founder and co-editor (since 2002 editor) of the journal Traditional South Asian Medicine (previously Journal of the European Âyurvedic Society).
— Founder and editor of the series Südasienwissenschaftliche Arbeitsblätter (Working Papers on South Asian Studies).
— Co-founder and co-editor of the series Mitteilungen zur Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte der islamischen Welt (Communications on the Social and Cultural History of the Islamic World).
— Co-founder and co-editor of the series Veröffentlichungen zur Indogermanistik und Anthropologie (Publications on Indo-European Studies and Anthropology).
— South Asia editor of the journal Orientalistische Literaturzeitung.
— Member of the editorial/advisory board of Asian Medicine (until 2008), Journal of Vaiṣava Studies (until 2000), Rivista di Studi Sudasiatici, Politeja and Jagiellonian Cultural Studies (sub-series of Politeja).
— Editor of the South Asia section (ancient and modern) of the new 18-volume edition of Kindlers Literaturlexikon.
— Founder and editor of the series Transdisziplinäre Südasienstudien / Transdisciplinary South Asian Studies

Membership in Societies (selected organisations) 

Invited lectures (excluding presentations at conferences, workshops etc.) at the following major venues (once or more); minor venues are not listed:

Amherst MA,USA
Amherst MA, USA
Ann Arbor MI, USA
Athens GA, USA
Austin TX, USA
Beijing, China
Bellingham WA, USA
Berkeley CA, USA
Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany
Bochum, Germany
Calcutta, India
Calcutta, India
Calcutta, India
Calcutta, India
Calcutta, India
Cambridge MA, USA
Champaign IL, USA
Chicago IL, USA
Cleveland OH, USA
Columbia MO, USA
Cracow, Poland
Hamburg, Germany

Heidelberg, Germany
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Kharagpur, India
Kiel, Germany
Los Angeles CA, USA
Madison WI, USA
Mainz, Germany
Marburg, Germany
Minneapolis MN, USA
Monmouth OR, USA
Munich, Germany
Münster, Germany
New Delhi, India

New York NY, USA
Northampton MA, USA
Philadelphia PA, USA
Providence RI, USA
Santa Barbara CA, USA
Santa Cruz CA, USA
Seattle WA, USA
South Hadley MA, USA
Stockholm, Sweden
Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan
Toronto ON, Canada
Trier, Germany
Tutzing, Germany
Valladolid, Spain
Vancouver BC, Canada
Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria
Washington DC, USA
Wolfsburg, Germany
Würzburg, Germany
Zürich, Switzerland
Hampshire College
University of Massachusetts
University of Michigan
University of Georgia
University of Texas
Peking University
Western Washington University
University of California
Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Ministry)
Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik (Federal Academy for Security Policy)
Indian Embassy
Asiatic Society
Jadavpur University
Max Müller Bhavan
Rabindra Bharati University
University of Calcutta
Harvard University
University of Illinois
University of Chicago
Case Western Reserve University
University of Missouri
Uniwersytet Jagielloński
Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr (Command Academy of the German Armed Forces)
Helsingin Yliopisto (University of Helsinki)
Societas Historiae Scientiarum Fennica
Indian Institute of Technology
Hermann Ehlers Akademie
University of California
University of Wisconsin
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität
University of Minnesota
Western Oregon University
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität
Jawaharlal Nehru University

Columbia University
Smith College
University of Pennsylvania
Brown University
University of California
University of California
University of Washington
Mount Holyoke College
Stockholms Universitet
International College for Advanced Buddhist Studies
University of Tokyo
University of Toronto
Katholische Akademie
Akademie für Politische Bildung
Casa de la India
University of British Columbia
Afro-Asiatisches Institut
Landesverteidigungsakademie (National Defence Academy)
Dumbarton Oaks
AutoUni (Volkswagen AG)
Bayerische Julius-Maximilians Universität
Museum Rietberg
— From 1995 to 2003 Head of the Examination Committee of the Faculty of Kunst-, Orient- und Altertumswissenschaften.
— From 1997 to 2006 member of the Doctoral Committee of the Faculty.
— From 1998 to 2003 in charge of the evaluation of teaching in the Faculty.
— From 2000 to 2003 member of the University Committee for Student Grants.
— From 2000 to 2006 member of the University Committee for International Exchanges and Foreign Students.
— From 2000 to 2003 member of the University Committee for Granting the Martin Luther Stipend.
— From 2005 to 2008 on the Board of Directors of the Orientwissenschaftliches Zentrum in Halle.
— From 2006 to 2020 Dean of Studies (Studiendekan) of the Philosophical Faculty I (Philosophische Fakultät I:  Sozialwissenschaften und historische Kulturwissenschaften).
— From 2006 to 2020 member of the Doctoral Committee of the Faculty.
— From 2006 to 2020 in charge of the evaluation of teaching in the Faculty.
— From 2006 to 2009 Director of the Language Centre (Sprachenzentrum) of the University.
— From 2006 to 2020 member of the University Senate Committee for Studies and Teaching.
— Organised the 5th International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicine in Halle (August 18-24, 2002).
— Instrumental in effecting a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg and Dhaka University.
— Instrumental in effecting a university partnership between the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg and the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
— Coordinator for this partnership.

Completed theses supervised