J. Barton Scott

Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 205, 170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Secularism 
  • Postcolonial theory and anticolonial thought 
  • Religion and law 
  • Religion, media, and popular culture 
  • Public sphere theory 
  • Affect theory 
  • History of the study of religion 
  • Modern South Asia 
  • Modern Hinduism


J. Barton Scott works on the global intellectual and cultural history of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with a focus on South Asia and its connections to the British empire. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on social and cultural theory, media and material religion, and religion in political thought. He is the author of Spiritual Despots: Modern Hinduism and the Genealogies of Self-Rule (Chicago) and the co-editor of Imagining the Public in Modern South Asia (Routledge), as well as articles on such topics as Hindu comic books, Gujarati travelogues, and the banning of religious scriptures.  

Scott is currently finishing a book called Slandering the Sacred: Blasphemy Law and Religious Affect in Colonial India (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming) and, in connection with that work, running a collaborative SSHRC-funded research project called "The Global Blasphemer." 


PhD, Duke University
BA, Swarthmore College

Administrative Service

Director of Graduate Studies