Benjamin J. Flemming
Visiting Scholar in Religious Studies
Benjamin J. Fleming is presently Cataloger of Indic Manuscripts at the Kislak Center for Special Collections at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a BFA, BA, and MA from the University of Regina and a PhD from McMaster University. Recently, he won an Endangered Archives Pilot Project grant from the British Library (2014) to oversee the itemization and digitization of a large manuscript collection in Comilla, Bangladesh.
Dr. Fleming's research focuses on gift giving, ritual, myth, and iconography in medieval South Asia, with a particular concern for traditions about pilgrimage and sacred geography. His dissertation, "Cult of the Jyotirliṅgas and the History of Śaivite Worship" investigated the relationship between ritual, storytelling, and pilgrimage in Śaivism. He has presented papers on the Digital Humanities, Manuscripts, and Gift Giving at Dhaka University (Sanskrit department), UPenn (Seminar in the History of Material Texts), and Villanova (Dept. of History). He has also presented on the Puranas and on inscriptions at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion, American Oriental Society, and Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, as well as at the Fourth International Vedic Workshop, Oriental Club of Philadelphia, Penn Humanities Forum, and Religious Studies Colloquium at UPenn. He has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada, and the British Library. He held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Religious Studies.