Kevin McGrath, PhD

Associate in South Asian Studies, Harvard University

Kevin McGrath is an associate of the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University. His research centers on the Sanskrit epic, Mahabharata. He has published four works on this topic: The Sanskrit Hero: Karna in Epic Mahabharata (Brill, 2004), Stri: Women in Epic Mahabharata (Harvard University Press, 2009), Jaya: Performance in Epic Mahabharata (Harvard University Press, 2011), Heroic Krsna: Friendship in Epic Mahabharata (Harvard University Press, 2013), Arjuna Pandava, The Double Hero in Epic Mahabharata (Orient Black Swan, 2016); and Raja Yudhisthira, Kingship in Epic Mahabharata (Cornell University Press, 2017). He is presently working on Bhisma Devavrata: Authority in Epic Mahabharata.

McGrath is also Poet in Residence at Lowell House and his most recent publication is Eros (Saint Julian Press, 2016). He has also published five previous books of poetry, including Supernature (The New Book Press, 2012), Eroica (The New Book Press, 2013), and Windward (Saint Julian Press, 2015). McGrath does fieldwork in the Kacch of Western Gujarat and studies kinship, landscape, and migration; some of this material was recently published as In The Kacch, A Memoir of Love and Place (McFarland, 2015). He also works in the field of water security in a desert region of that district.

The hero as a figure for humanistic analysis is the focus of much of McGrath's scholarly work, particularly as expressed in the poetry of Bronze Age pre-literate and pre-monetary culture.


  • PhD Harvard University