Wednesday Night Lecture Series

Wednesday Night Lecture Series

Wednesday | February 28, 2018 | 7:45 p.m. | University Hall 3442

This event is free and open to the public

A special double event featuring: 

Turbaned Profits and Yoga in Early-Twentieth Century America | 7:45 p.m. 

Lecture by Philip Deslippe, PhD Candidate in Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbra 

Philip will give an overview of his article “The Swami Circuit,” forthcoming in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Yoga Studies, which provides a new understanding of the first half of yoga’s history in the United States based on years of extensive archival research and a large body of data. It argues that there was a vibrant, crowded, and surprising world of yoga in early-twentieth century America that can be understood through its network of traveling teachers.

Speaker information:

Philip Deslippe is a scholar of American religious history and is currently a PhD Student in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a focus on Asian, metaphysical, and marginal religious traditions in modern America. He holds an interdisciplinary MA in American Religious Culture from the University of Iowa and a BA in English with a minor in American Studies from the University of Connecticut.

He has taught courses on religion, Asian American studies, and literature, and has given guest lectures for courses at universities including Stanford and UCLA. He has also presented his work at academic conferences and public venues both in the United States and internationally in countries including Japan, Poland, Finland, England, and Ireland.

Philip has published articles in academic journals such as Sikh FormationsContemporary Buddhism, and Amerasia. In 2011, he edited and introduced a definitive edition of the metaphysical classic The Kybalion for Tarcher/Penguin which has since been translated into Romanian and Portuguese. He has written longform articles for popular outlets such as Tricycle: The Buddhist ReviewTides: The Magazine of the South Asian American Digital Archive, and the Indian news site Scroll, as well as shorter pieces for Yoga Journal and Air and Space Smithsonian.


Reassessing the History of Yogic Postures in Precolonial India | 8:30 p.m. 

Lecture by Seth Powell, PhD Candidate in South Asian Religions, Harvard University

In this talk, Seth will discuss the research from his forthcoming article, “Etched in Stone,” soon to be published in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Yoga Studies. In this article, Seth reassesses the history of yogic postures in precolonial India, bringing to light new visual and material evidence from the early sixteenth century of complex non-seated yogic āsanas, sculpted onto the temple pillars at Hampi, Karnataka, the capital of the great Vijayanagara Empire.

Speaker information:

Seth Powell is a scholar of Indian religions, Sanskrit, and yoga traditions, and currently a PhD Candidate in South Asian Religions at Harvard University. He specializes in the history, theory, and practice of medieval and early modern Sanskrit yoga texts and traditions, as well as their intersections with the culture and practice of modern transnational yoga. Seth also holds degrees in the study of religion from the University of Washington (MA) and Humboldt State University (BA). He has taught and lectured for numerous university courses at Harvard and elsewhere on the religions and literature of India, Hinduism, Buddhism, and yoga traditions, and presents his research regularly at international conferences.

Seth’s doctoral dissertation at Harvard focuses on the relationship between Śaiva ritual, bhakti, and yoga traditions in medieval south India, and will include a critical edition and annotated translation of a lesser-known Sanskrit yoga text, the Śivayogapradīpikā, or “Lamp on Śiva’s Yoga” (c. 15th century). His work finds itself at the intersections of the disciplines of Indology, religious studies, and art history. 

Seth is also a longtime practitioner of yoga, and is the founder of Yogic Studies, dedicated to bridging the scholarly and practitioner yoga communities. He conducts workshops and lectures regularly on the history and philosophy of yoga at studios, teacher trainings, and universities around the United States.

  • Driving, Parking, and Directions


    After paying for parking until 8 pm, proceed to the ground floor via the elevator. From the ground floor, signs will be available directing you up to the third floor and towards Uhall 3442.  

    Driving directions to LMU are available here.


    When parking on Campus, enter via Lincoln Boulevard. Turn in to the first parking garage entrance into University Hall as you arrive at the LMU Campus.

    Parking fines are enforced Monday-Friday 7am-8pm. Please note your license plate number before leaving your car and pay for parking if necessary at the kiosk near the elevator.  

    You may also purchase parking prior to arrival here.