Dr. Steve Adisasmito-Smith

Steve Adisasmito-SmithDr. Steve Adisasmito-Smith teaches surveys of World Literature and a course on Myth and Folktales. He has also led seminars on Biopoetics and Myth; Mimesis, Violence and Ethics; Epics and Empires; International Fantastic literature; the Literatures of India (ancient and modern), and Women Weaving Wor(l)ds (premodern female poets from around the world). He studies literature from a comparative perspective that mingles ethical critique with biological and cultural approaches.

Steve earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he read Sanskrit and Latin literatures, and explored interactions among American, British and Indian literature in English. Those investigations drew on hermeneutics, translation studies and postcolonial studies. His work was awarded the 1998 Horst Frenz Prize from the American Comparative Literature Association. In 1999, Steve went to Pune, India to further his Sanskrit studies, reading in The Mahabharata and in Sanskrit poetics.

Steve has published articles on Sanskrit literature and its translation and interpretation by British Orientalists, American Transcendentalists, and Indian Nationalists in journals such as Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature, Nineteenth-Century Prose, and South Asian Review. His more recent research focuses on biocultural approaches to literature: eco-criticism, evo-criticism, cognitive science and performance studies.

When not on campus, Steve likes to travel with his wife, Niken, and their two sons, Ryan and Kris. They visit family in Indonesia as often as possible. He enjoys Irish music and craft beer, anime and fantasy flics, and reading in science, history and speculative lit. When possible, he heads out to the wild to hike, camp, fish, and explore nature. Along the way, he has ridden a horse up to a volcano, snorkeled over a coral reef, rappelled into a cave, swum in a subterranean lake, stood in the entrance to the Irish underworld and climbed a mountain overlooking Paradise.