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My name is Preetham Sridharan and I am a sixth-year PhD candidate in modern German and European history at the University of Oregon. I am originally from India and I completed my schooling there, before starting my university education in the U.S. I began to focus on modern German history out of my interest in getting to know other cultures and their histories. I have a master's degree in history from Portland State University, which I completed in 2018.


My research area involves the history of religious and linguistic thought in nineteenth-century Germany, and how the field of linguistics became a professional discipline at that time emphasising Indo-European languages while also being influenced by various Judeo-Christian religious traditions. My methodological approach concentrates on this intersection between religious values and intellectual history. I am focusing my dissertation on German Romantic thinkers (such as Johann Georg Hamann, Johann Gottfried Herder, Wilhelm von Humboldt, August Ferdinand Bernhardi, and the Schlegel brothers) and their normative theories about perfection and improvements in language, situating them in the longue durée of projects to improve languages, including well-known constructed languages like Esperanto. I relate the theories of linguistic perfection to the diverse religious views of these thinkers including Pietism, Catholicism, Jewish Kabbalistic mysticism, pantheism, and Eastern religions, drawing implications for the secularisation thesis in European history. 


My language proficiency includes English, German, Tamil, and some French. I work as a graduate employee in history at the University of Oregon, and have also had experience teaching in other disciplines such as religious studies, German, and English as a second language. I am passionate about writing articles and books in history, and teaching in higher education.

Preetham CV 2023.pdf151.95 KB