ALASTAIR GORNALL

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

Pillar / Cluster: Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Biography

Alastair Gornall gained his Ph.D. in South Asian Studies from the University of Cambridge in 2012. He is currently a faculty member in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the Singapore University of Technology and Design and a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London. He is interested in the intellectual and cultural history of Buddhism in premodern and modern South and Southeast Asia. His recent work has focused on the role played by traditional South Asian sciences in Buddhist practice and intellectual life in medieval Sri Lanka. Alastair also enjoys translating and publishing forgotten works of Southeast Asian poetry and literature composed in Sanskrit, Pali and Sinhala. He teaches courses on Asian philosophy, literature, science and religion.

Key Publications

Books

  • 2014a. Ciotti, Giovanni, Alastair Gornall and Paolo Visigalli, eds. Pupikā: Tracing Ancient India Through Texts and Traditions. Contributions to Current Research in Indology Volume 2. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Articles

  • 2015. “Fame and Philology: R.C. Childers and the Beginnings of Pāli and Buddhist Studies”. Contemporary Buddhism. DOI:10.1080/14639947.2015.1031930
  • 2014c. “How Many Sounds Are in Pāli? Schisms, Identity and Ritual in the  Theravāda Saṅgha”. Journal of Indian Philosophy, vol. 42, no. 5: 511-550.
  • 2014b. “Kārakas in Cāndra Grammar: An Interpretation from the Pāli Buddhist śāstras”. In Pupikā: Tracing Ancient India Through Texts and Traditions. Contributions to Current Research in Indology Volume 2, edited by Giovanni Ciotti, Alastair Gornall and Paolo Visigalli, 87-113. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
  • 2013. “Dravya as a Permanent Referent: The Potential Sarvāstivādin influence on Patañjali’s Paspaśāhnika.” In Puṣpikā: Tracing Ancient India Through Texts and Traditions. Contributions to Current Research in Indology Volume I, edited by Nina Mirnig, Peter-Daniel Szanto, Michael Williams, 203-224. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
  • 2011. “Some Remarks on Buddhaghosa’s Use of Sanskrit Grammar: Hints of an Unknown Pāṇinian Commentary in the Grammatical Arguments of Buddhaghosa.” Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, Vol. 1, October: 89-107.

Book Reviews

  • 2014d. How Theravāda is Theravāda? Exploring Buddhist Identities, edited by Peter Skilling, Jason A. Carbine, Claudio Cicuzza, and Santi Pakdeekham, reviewed in Religions of South Asia, 8.2: 237-241.

EDUCATION BACKGROUND

  • 2009 – 2012, PhD, South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge
  • 2009, MA, Study of Religions, SOAS, University of London (Distinction)
  • 2008, BA, Study of Religions, SOAS, University of London (1st Class Hons.)

AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS

  • 2009 - 2012, Rapson Scholarship, University of Cambridge
  • 2008 - 2009, AHRC Research Preparation Masters Award, SOAS
  • 2007, Undergraduate School Prize, SOAS

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • South and Southeast Asian Religion
  • South and Southeast Asian Literature
  • South and Southeast Asian Intellectual History
  • History of Science