Frank J. Korom

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Frederic Maatouk
Frank J. Korom.jpg
Alma materProfessor of Religion and Anthropology at Boston University.
OccupationProfessor and Author

Frank J. Korom (1957 in Kikinda, Serbia- formerly Yugoslavia) is a distinguished Professor of Religion and Anthropology at Boston University.

Biography[edit | edit source]

He received degrees in Religious Studies and Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1984, before pursuing advanced studies in India and Pakistan, where he earned certificates of recognition in a number of modern South Asian languages. His doctoral dissertation was on Dharmaraj, a local village deity worshipped in West Bengal from medieval times onward. For this, the University of Pennsylvania, awarded him a Ph.D. in 1992. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, a Ford Foundation cultural consultant in India and Bangladesh, and curator of Asian and Middle Eastern collections at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe prior to his arrival at Boston University in 1998.

His research and teaching interests range from South Asian expressive traditions and contemporary religion to diaspora studies and transnationalism, which is reflected in his work on East Indians in the Caribbean, the global community of Tibetan refugees, and the peregrinations of a Sri Lankan Tamil Sufi saint. He is also interested in film, ritual, and performance studies, topics he has taught as a visiting professor at a number of academic institutions, including Harvard, Heidelberg, and Hyderabad. Since 2016, he has been an affiliated faculty member of Harvard University’s Program on Mythology and Folklore.

Education[edit | edit source]

  • Ph.D. Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania, 1992.
  • M.A. Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania, 1987.
  • B.A. Anthropology and Religious Studies, University of Colorado, 1984.

Positions[edit | edit source]

  • Professor of Religion and Anthropology, Boston University, September 2009-present
  • Affiliated Professor of Folklore & Mythology, Harvard University, September 2015-present
  • Amherst College, Spring Semester 2016
  • Harvard University, Spring Semester 2014
  • Heidelberg University, Summer Semester 2012
  • University of Hyderabad, Summer Semester 1990.
  • Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, Summer Semester, 1989.
  • Associate Professor of Religion and Anthropology, Boston University, September 2004-August 2009
  • Assistant Professor of Religion and Anthropology, Boston University, September 1998-August 2004
  • Curator of Asian and Middle Eastern Collections, Museum of International Folk Art, September 1993- August 1998
  • Adjunct Lecturer in Religion and Anthropology, Santa Fe Community College, January 1994-August 1998
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Institution, Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Heritage, September 1992-August 1993
  • Cultural Consultant, Ford Foundation, New Delhi and Dhaka Offices, Intermittently May 1989-July 1990

Selected Research and Publications[edit | edit source]

Book[edit | edit source]

Authored Books

Article[edit | edit source]

Book Chapters and Articles

  • “It Ain’t Religion, It’s Just Culture, Man! Muharram Controversies in the Indo-Caribbean Diaspora.” In P. Sohoni & T. Tschacher (eds.). Beyond Mourning: South Asian Muḥarram Outside the Shia Frame. London: Routledge (In Press).
  • “Community Process and the Performance of Muharram Observances in Trinidad.” The Tisch Drama Review. 38/2 (1994): 150-175. [co-authored with P. Chelkowski]
  • “Memory, Innovation and Emergent Ethnicities: The Creolization of an Indo-Trinidadian Performance.” Diaspora. 3/2 (1994): 135-155.

Encyclopedia Entries, Brief Communications, and Miscellaneous

  • “Benfey, Theodore” (pp. 55-56), “katha” (pp. 331), “mangalkavya” (pp. 378-379), “muharram” (pp. 410- 411), “Nationalism and Folklore” (pp. 439-440), “Pañcatantra” (pp. 459-461), “recycling” (pp. 515- 516), “Tagore, Rabindranath” (pp. 589-590), “ta‘ziya” (pp. 595-596), in M. Mills, et al. (eds.) South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia. 2003. New York: Routledge

Invited Lectures

  • “Envisioning the Global, Performing the Local: Indo-Trinidadian Muharram Rituals in Context.” Agha Khan Lecture Series, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, April 1998.

Conference Papers

  • “’It Ain’t Religion, Man, Its Culture’: Hindu Rhetoric on Muharram Practices in Cedros, Trinidad.” 45th Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, October 2016.
  • “Muharram and Ta‘ziyeh in Shi‘i Islam: A Comparison of Two Performative Contexts,” Annual meeting of the Southeastern Regional Chapter of the American Academy of Religion, Atlanta, March 1987.

Fieldwork and Research

  • Research, “Nineteenth-Century Depictions of Muharram,” Oriental and India Office Collections, The British Museum, January 1993.

Panel Organization and Participation

  • Project Co-Director, Smithsonian Institution Research Project on Islamic Muharram Rituals, 1991-1998 [with Peter Checlkowski].

Awards, Grants, Fellowships and Honors[edit | edit source]

  • grants from the Institute of International Education, the Mellon Foundation, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the International Folk Art Foundation, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies, the School of Advanced Research, the Fulbright Commission, the American Academy of Religion, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies, the Clark Art Institute, and the Max Planck Institute.
  • Boston University Humanities Foundation Fellowship, 2001. To complete a manuscript on Muharram rites in Trinidad
  • School of American Research Summer Residency Fellowship, 2000. To complete a manuscript on Muharram rites in Trinidad.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 2000. To complete a manuscript on Muharram rites in Trinidad.

Source[edit | edit source]