Please email professor to schedule a meeting or refer to class syllabus.
Dr. Caleb Simmons (Ph.D., University of Florida) is the Executive Director of Online Education overseeing Arizona Online, UArizona's online campus with over 9,000 students. He is also Professor of Religious Studies, and Faculty Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. He specializes in digital and online learning and religion in South Asia, especially Hinduism. He has recently been named a Center for University Education Scholarship (CUES) Distinguished Fellow for his research on online pedagogy.
His Religious Studies research spans religion and state-formation in medieval and colonial India to contemporary transnational aspects of Hinduism. His book Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India (Oxford University Press, 2020), examines how the late early modern/early colonial court of Mysore reenvisioned notions of kingship, territory, and religion, especially its articulations through devotion. His second monograph, Singing the Goddess into Place: Locality, Myth, and Social Change in Chamundi of the Hill, a Kannada Folk Ballad (SUNY Press 2022), examines popular local folksongs that engage the mythology of Mysore's Chamundeshwari and her consort Nanjundeshwara to critique social inequalities. He also edited (with Moumita Sen and Hillary Rodrigues) and contributed to Nine Nights of the Goddess: The Navarātri Festival in South Asia (SUNY Press 2018) a collected volume that focuses on various aspects of the important festival of Navaratri. He also has publications and continuing research interests related to a broad range of contemporary topics, including ecological issues and sacred geography in India; South Asian diaspora communities; and material and popular cultures that arise as a result of globalization—especially South Asian religions as portrayed in comic books and graphic novels. He teaches courses on Hinduism, Indian religions, and method and theory of Religious Studies. He formerly served as the Book Review editor for Religion (Routledge) and is a member of the Administrative Committee as well as the website/listserv manager for the American Academy of Religion South Asia Religions Unit.
Recent Opinion Articles
- "A Future for Everyone: Rethinking Higher Education for All Through Online Modalities" in The Evolllution: A Modern Campus Illumination. October 5, 2023.
- "A Mission to Serve: An Idealist AND Realistic Approach to the Business of Online Education" in OLC Insights: Online Learning Consortium Blog. September 25, 2023.
Awards & Fellowships
- Center for University Education Scholarship (CUES) Distinguished Fellowship, Univeristy of Arizona (2022-2026)
- Ted and Shirley Taubeneck Superior Teaching Award, University of Arizona (2021)
- Early Career Scholars Award, University of Arizona (2020).
- Visiting Research Fellow at Käte Hamburger Kolleg at Ruhr Universität-Bochum in Germany (2016-2017).
University of Arizona Committee Service (current only)
- Faculty Senate, at-large member
- Committee of Eleven, member
- Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee (SPBAC), member
- UAGC Integration Academic Working Group, lead
- Faculty Senate Executive Committee, member
- Open Access Task Force, member
- Annual Review/Pay Equity Faculty Task Force, member
- Singing the Goddess into Place: Locality, Myth, and Social Change in Chamundi of the Hill, a Kannada Folk Ballad. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2022.
- Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.
- The Great Mysore Bhāgavata: Complete Study of a Manuscript from the Binney Collection in the San Diego Museum of Art. Brijender Goswamy with Robert J. Del Bontà and Caleb Simmons. San Diego: San Diego Musuem of Art, 2019.
- Nine Nights of the Goddess: The Navarātri Festival in South Asia. co-edited with Moumita Sen and Hillary Rodrigues. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2018.
Articles and Chapters
- "Mathas, toward understanding the public religious, educational, and political ascetic institution in South Asian religions" in Religion Compass Vol 17 No. 18 (2023).
- “The Cost of High Production Quality: A Preliminary Discussion of the Value of Production in Asynchronous Online Modalities” in The Digital World in an Age of Uncertainity: Humanizing Technology for Wellness, Resilience, and Creativity Proceedings of the 2022 Pacific Neighborhood Consortium Annual Conference and Joint Meetings. Jiang Wu, Sophy Shu-jiun, and His-yuan Chen (eds.), pp. 1-8.
- "Devotional Foundations of Earthly Sovereignty: Conceptualizing Sovereignty and the Role of Devotion in Narrative Political Theology in Premodern India" in Religions Vol. 12 No. 11 (2021)
- "Domains of Dasara: Reflections on the Struggle for Significance in Contemporary Mysore" in Nine Nights of Power: Durga, Dolls, and Darbars. Huesken, et al (eds.). Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2021, pp. 221-248.
- "Tales of Cāmuṇḍā and Uttanahaḷḷi, Fierce Goddesses of Southern Karnataka," in Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: A Sourcebook of Fierce Goddesses in South Asia. Michael Slouber (ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press, 2020, pp. 29-47.
- "Subversive Space: Representations of Space as Articulations of Sovereignty in Colonial Mysore" in Religion Vol. 50 No. 2 (2020).
- "Dynastic Continuity and Election in Contemporary Karnataka Politics" in The Conundrum of Worldly Power: Sovereignty in South Asia. David Gilmartin, Pamela Price, and Arild Ruud (eds.). London: Routledge, 2019, pp. 136-149.
- "History, Heritage, and Myth: Local Historical Imagination in the Fight to Preserve Chamundi Hill" in Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology Vol. 22 No. 3 (Aug 2018), pp. 216-237.
- “Genealogy and Political Change in Imperial Mysore 1645-1704 CE” in Peninsular Musings. M.P. Mujeebu Rehiman (ed.). Kottayam: National Book Stall/Sahitya Pravarthaka Sahakarana Samghom (SPCS), 2018, pp. 128-153.
- “Family, God, and King: Vaṃśāvaḷi as Royalist Literature” in Clio and her Descendents: Essays in Honor of Keshavan Veluthat. Manu Devadevan (ed.). New Delhi: Primus Books, 2018.
- “The King and the Yadu Line: Performing Lineage through Dasara in Nineteenth-Century Mysore” in Nine Nights of the Goddess: Navarātri Festival in South Asia. Caleb Simmons, Moumita Sen, and Hillary Rodrigues (eds.). Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2018.
- “The Hunt for Noses: Contextualizing Mysore’s Predilection for Nose-Cutting” in Studies in History Vol. 32 No. 3 (August 2016), pp. 162-185.
- “Erotic Grotesque Redemption” in ImageText Vol. 8 No. 1. (Summer 2015).
- “The Goddess and Vaiṣṇavism in Search for Regional Supremacy: Woḍeyar Devotional Traditions During the Reign of Rāja Woḍeyar (1578-1617 CE)” in Indian History Vol. 1 No. 1 (2014), pp. 27-46.
-----------translated into Kannada “Dēvate Vaiṣṇavadharma mata Prādēśika Oḍetana: Maisūru Oḍeyar Bhakti Parampareya Svarūpa-Rāja Oḍeyar (1583-1617) Kālāvadhiyalli Āda Badalāvaṇe” in Itihāsa Darpaṇa: A Peer Reviewed Journal of Historical Research in Kannada Vol. 28 (Winter 2016), pp. 43-62.
- “Creating Royalty: Identity-Making and the Devotional Images of the Woḍeyars of Mysore” in Archaeology of Bhakti: Royal Bhakti, Local Bhakti. Valerie Gillet, et al (eds.). Paris: Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient, 2015. pp. 209-235.
- “Greening the Goddess: Sacred Landscape, History and Legislation on the Cāmuṇḍī Hills of Mysore” in The Changing World Religions Map. Stanley Brunn (ed.). Leiden: Springer Books, 2015. pp. 545-556.
- “The Goddess on the Hill: The (re)Invention of a Local Hill Goddess as Chamundeshvari” in Inventing and Reinventing the Goddess: Contemporary Iterations of the Hindu Goddess on the Move. Sree Padma (ed.). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014. pp. 217-244.
- “Translating Viṣṇu: Native Intuition and the Construction of Meaning in Rāmāyan 3392 AD and Krishna: A Journey Within" in Journal of Vaishnava Studies Vol. 21 No. 2 (Spring 2013) pp. 195-209.
- “The Graphic Goddess” in Modern Art Asia: Selected Papers. Majella Munro (ed.). London: EnzoArts Publishing, 2012. pp. 262-275.
- “Yes Sir, That’s My Devī: Authority and the Goddess in Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues” in Journal of Vaishnava Studies Vol. 20 No. 1 (Fall 2011), pp. 133-156.