Lavanya Vemsani
Dr. Lavanya Vemsani
Professor of History & Religious Studies

November 15, 2022

Shawnee State University’s Professor of History & Religious Studies, Dr. Lavanya Vemsani, recently released her latest book entitled “Hinduism in Middle India: Narasimha the Lord of the Middle”. The book is a collection of research she completed during her Fulbright experience last year.

“My book is the first major scholarly work on Hinduism in Middle India,” said Dr. Vemsani. “This brings into focus innovative new frameworks to study religion in India.”

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing, the book explores Narasimha – one of the least studied major deities of Hinduism.

“Being my fifth book on Indian religion, it continues my work on history of religion and counters the previous claims of establishment of imported religion with evidence from Middle India,” said Dr. Vemsani. “This book helps show that the dichotomy of ‘invader vs. indigenous’ imposed on Hinduism was a faulty perspective in the face of overwhelming evidence in long history of indigenous religion.”

Dr. Vemsani was the first SSU professor to receive a Fulbright U.S. Scholarship program award from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The program is a flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

“I am thankful to Fulbright for giving me the Fulbright Global Scholar Award,” she said. “My deep gratitude is reserved for my department and Shawnee State University for supporting my research with sabbatical.”

Dr. Vemsani’s book is available online at To learn more about the History program at Shawnee State University, visit