Anand Prahlad, who joined the MU faculty in 1990, teaches students that a cornerstone of being educated is having an open and inquisitive mind that reflects, ponders and becomes stronger through intellectual challenges and creative exploration. He encourages students to reflect on, contextualize and critique every ethnographic, textural and ideological facet of their studies.
Constance Bailey, doctoral candidate in English
“He works hard to make the classroom a space where all students can be assured that their perspectives are valued,” says Patricia Okker, professor and chair of the Department of English. “Another key to his success is a remarkable talent for keeping the entire class connected to the subject matter and to the classroom community.”
Prahlad teaches creative writing, folklore, Africana literature and film studies, and he specializes in contemporary poetry, folkloristics, proverbs and culture studies of the African Diaspora. He has served as director for students in the summer McNair Scholars Program and has directed multiple honors thesis, master’s thesis and dissertation committees.
“He understands that, often times, mitigating circumstances can affect a student’s academic performance and that during these times a student can often benefit from introspection and self-evaluation rather than more invasive or critical advising,” says Constance Bailey, a former student.
Prahlad combines popular culture, illuminating sources, historical contexts and various theoretical lenses to increase student interest and understanding.
“By asking challenging, thought-provoking questions, he encourages his students to reflect on their own preconceptions and beliefs,” says Tasha Moon, a former student. “There is not a single student he does not notice and prod for participation and thought. There is no student who is overlooked or denied extra attention or information.”
Prahlad earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles.