Obituary for Lucy Bulliet

Lubin, Tim lubint at WLU.EDU
Sun Jun 26 03:19:42 UTC 2011

I hope you'll all indulge me a reply in a personal vein to Joanna's question about a dear friend now passed.

Lucy Bulliet was an eminently thoughtful and humane soul.  Her appreciation of .Rgvedic poetry was matched (or perhaps exceeded) only by her love of golden-age recordings of jazz.  Self-effacing to a fault and devoted to her family, she did not publish much after completing her dissertation on the V.rtra myth in the .Rgveda under Ingalls.  But her erudition bore fruit rather in her friendship and mentoring of a generation of students and young colleagues at Columbia.

Lucy certainly filled a crucial gap during my doctoral studies at Columbia when my interests led me toward the Veda.  She was always the only Vedic specialist around the university, and especially after Barbara Miller died and Brian Smith decamped for the West Coast, she was a great help and conversation partner in my Sanskrit studies during my time there.

Over the last two decades, she made several trips to India, especially Kolkata, to read with a scholar, and it was a great pleasure to meet up with her near the New Woodlands in Chennai.  She was always eager to discuss a difficult passage, and she brought to these discussions -- and to life in general -- patience, reflection, and a wry, often sardonic humor.  Those fortunate enough to know her are missing her singular voice.

Tim Lubin
Washington and Lee University

-----Original Message-----
From: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at] On Behalf Of Michael Brattus Jones
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2011 6:52 PM
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Obituary for Lucy Bulliet

Dear Professor Kirkpatrick (and list members),

I'm not sure if you are referring to the (planned) bibliography of  
Lucy's library of indological volumes, a list of her publications, or  
something else I am not aware of that she compiled as a bibliography.  
Although neither of the first two are planned for publication per se,  
either or both may certainly be shared (upon completion) individually  
with members of the list by contacting me (mbjones at  
Further, a posthumous volume of an intended work of hers, an  
(undergrad level) introduction to Vedic Religion, may eventually be  
forthcoming, though at this point her progress has not been ascertained.

Thank you,
Michael Brattus Jones
Ph.D. student, Department of Asian Studies
University of Texas at Austin

Email: mbjones at

From: Indology [INDOLOGY at] On Behalf Of JKirkpatrick  
[jkirk at SPRO.NET]
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2011 9:32 AM
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Obituary for Lucy Bulliet

May I ask, will her valuable Bibliography be published in another
Or is there one somewhere on Columbia's website?

Joanna Kirkpatrick

-----Original Message-----
From: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at] On Behalf Of
Michael Brattus Jones
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2011 7:38 PM
Subject: [INDOLOGY] Obituary for Lucy Bulliet

It is with great sadness that I pass along this obituary for Lucy
Bulliet, which was written by her husband Professor Richard
Bulliet of Columbia University.
- M. B. Jones

Dr. Lucianne Cherry Bulliet, who had taught Vedic Religion at
Columbia University for almost twenty years, succumbed to cancer
on March 2, 2011.  She was 71 years old.  Dr. Bulliet grew up in
San Diego, California, and graduated from Point Loma High School
and Pomona College.  She earned her doctoral degree in Sanskrit
and Indian
Studies at Harvard University under Professor Daniel H. H.
Her scholarly interests focused on the earliest phases of Indian
religion and culture as manifested in ancient works written in
the Vedic language, and on the roots of Indo-European culture in
Central Asia.  She is survived by her husband Richard and son


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