The Author

The authorWelcome to the blog of Enrica Garzilli, a specialist of Indology and modern Asian studies, author of the first official biography of Giuseppe Tucci, editor of the International Journal of Tantric Studies and the Journal of South Asia Women Studies, and former professor at the universities of Delhi, Perugia, Harvard, Macerata, and Turin.

Enrica is also the author of two additional blogs: L’esploratore del Duce. Le avventure di Giuseppe Tucci, dedicated to the Italian edition of Giuseppe Tucci’s biography; and a blog hosted by the leading Italian newspaper, Il Fatto Quotidianoconcerning Asia and international policy, Human Rights, and environmental issues. Since 2004 she has also kept a personal blog, Orientalia.

So why two blogs on one man? Giuseppe Tucci is Enrica’s paramaguru and one of the greatest Italian scholars and explorers of the last century, a Tibetologist and Sanskritist of international renown, a historian, an archaeologist, and an explorer in service of “Il Duce”, Benito Mussolini, the leader of the National Fascist Party, which controlled Italy from 1922 to 1943. In order to paint a complete portrait of Tucci, who served as Mussolini’s spokesman in South Asia and, later, in Japan, Enrica embarked on a quest to reconstruct the history of Fascism in Asia. The original Italian language edition of the biography is entitled L’Esploratore del Duce. Le avventure di Giuseppe Tucci e la politica italiana in Oriente da Mussolini a Andreotti. Con la corrispondenza di Giulio Andreotti, 2 vols., Roma/Milano: Memori, Asiatica Association, 1a ed. 2012 (3rd rev. ed., April 2014).

The two volumes constitute over 1,495 pages of research, conducted in India, Nepal, the US, the UK, and Italy—twelve years of work and over 1,360 characters linked to Giuseppe Tucci: most notably Benito Mussolini, “Il Duce”, as well as Giovanni Gentile, Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Hem Raj Sharma, Carlo Formichi, Kaiser Shamsher Rana, the XIV Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Fosco Maraini, Subhas Chandra Bose, Aldo Capitini, Surendra Nath Dasgupta, Mircea Eliade, Julius Evola, Karl Haushofer, Prassitele Piccinini, Pio Filippani-Ronconi, Sibilla Aleramo, Mario Carelli, Alexandra David-Néel, Dilli R. Regmi, Rishikesh Shaha, Tenzing sherpa, Sylvain Lévi, William F. Thomas, Rahul Sankrityayan and Vishnu Sukthankar… to name a few.  Giuseppe Tucci, 1,360 characters, and a storm of passion!

The English translation of the biography, to be published in nine volumes, is entitled Il Duce’s Explorer: The Adventures of Giuseppe Tucci and Italian Policy in the Orient from Mussolini to Andreotti: With the Correspondence of Giulio Andreotti. View the covers below!

My Curriculum Vitae

viewNow let me tell you a little about myself. I graduated in Sanskrit (Doctor, 110/110) from the University of Rome La Sapienza with Raniero Gnoli, Giuseppe Tucci’s most beloved pupil. I studied with other of his famous students as well, including the art historian, Mario Bussagli, and the famed Tibetologist, Luciano Petech.

In 1989 I published my thesis, The Spandasaṃdoha di Kṣemarāja, a critical edition and translation of the 12th-century philosophical text in Sanskrit, never before translated. (For a list of my publications and lectures, available for partial download, please visit

After graduating, I won a national competition for admission to the post-doc Master in Computer Science for the Humanities at the University of Rome La Sapienza, where I learned the rudiments of LISP and logged 150 hours of practice on IBM mainframes. I later received a post-doc Master in History from the University for Foreigners of Perugia. Among the professors: the great historians Giovanni Pugliese Carratelli and Jacques Le Goff.

I won a fellowship from the Cultural Exchange Programme between the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of India, as Research Affiliate at the University of Delhi. My teacher and supervisor, and my beloved guru, was the pandit Nityanand Sharma, who specialized in Dharma (Hindu law) and poetry, and was president of PGDAV College. I spent two wonderful years in India.

During my fifteen-year teaching career, I have been a professor at various Italian and foreign universities, teaching principally Sanskrit, Indian Studies, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zen, History of Indian Law, Human Rights and the History of Asia. From my studies of ancient South Asia—India and Nepal—I have in the meantime broadened my geopolitical and temporal horizons to cover contemporary times and countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet (or what is now the Tibet Autonomous Region – TAR – or Xizang, a region of the People’s Republic of China).

From 1991 to August 1996, I taught at Harvard University, where I was a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions, Lecturer at the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, and Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora, which I inaugurated with the volume Translating, Translations, Translators: From India to the West (Cambridge, 1996), the enlarged proceedings of a successful symposium I organized at Harvard in May 1994 with the participation of the philosopher Williard V. O. Quine.

While teaching, I continued to study and was admitted to the Graduate Program at Harvard Law School as a Visiting Researcher (y. 1994-1996) attending courses on International Law and Human Rights. But my most beloved teacher was the lawyer, William P. Homans Jr., a champion of civil rights and the first attorney opponent to the Vietnam War. Here is what The New York Times has to say about him.


My love for Computer Science and Social Media persisted throughout these endeavors. In 1995 I co-founded the first online academic peer-reviewed journals, the International Journal of Tantric Studies – IJTS, which can be found in print and for Kindle as well, and the Journal of South Asia Women Studies – JSAWS, which you will soon find in print and on Kindle. (To the left, an image of the IJTS, print version). In 1997 I co-established, together with other scholars, the Asiatica Association, an NGO open to all bona fide scholars whose studies concern the knowledge of Asian countries and the encounter between Asian values, Human Rights values, and Western values. In 2002, we organized our first international symposium, in Milan: Understanding Indian Women: Love, History and Studies. Among the speakers was the famed scholar, ex-dancer, and founding director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in Delhi, Kapila Vatsyayan, who met with Tucci in India many times.

And of course, I went on with my research. Here is a photo of some of my books, on the shelves of the Firestone Library at Princeton University—thank you to Prof. Richard Fox Young!


After returning to Italy, in 1997, I became a Professor of Sanskrit, Nepalese Studies, South Asian History and Law at the University of Perugia; from 2000-2006 I conducted research and was a Professor of Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, and South Asian Institutions at the University of Macerata. Until 2006 I also worked in the summer months teaching Sanskrit and as a Research Assistant at Harvard University, and as an expert on Asian issues for public institutions.

Thanks to my years spent in Asia, I have become increasingly interested in contemporary politics, its institutions and its relations with the West. From 2002 I began researching and publishing on contemporary India, Nepal, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Until 2012 I taught  History of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the Department of Political Science at the University of Turin.

s200_enrica.garzilliIn February 2014 I won the competition, Scientific National Abilitation, sector 14/B2—History and Institutions of Asia (click here for an official list of the winners).

Since 2006 I have been publishing in leading Italian newspapers and magazines such as Limes, ISPI – Institute for International Policy Studies (download a PDF of my policy brief on Nepal), Il Sole 24 Ore, and Il Fatto quotidiano online (read some of my articles here).

A complete and updated list of my publications can be found on, and many of my books can be viewed on my author page at my Amazon Author page, along with a few photos and the stream of Twitter.

Here is a list of my books and a summary of my publications. Here is a list of my scientific articles and a list of my lectures (on invitation). Here is the list of my reviews and editorials  and my TV and radio appearances as an Asia analyst. here a list of my divulgative articles in newspapers and magazines. You can follow me on Facebook (where you can also find the pages on Giuseppe Tucci in Italian and English—The Duce’s Explorer. The Adventures of Giuseppe Tucci), chat with me on Twitter, find most of my books on Amazon or email me at:

And before I forget: I am a passionate—yet tentative—gardener. Here is a view from my terrace in Milan.


The Author

Enrica Garzilli Enrica Garzilli is a scholar of classical and modern Asia. Harvard Alumna, she holds a degree in Sanskrit and Indology from the Oriental School in Rome, where she studied with Tucci’s most famous disciples. She has taught in leading Universities, and regularly publishes in national and international newspapers, magazines, and TV.

Asiatica Association

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