South Asian religions, yoga, modern occultism, music and religion.


2015 –2021                 Ph.D. Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara Field: Religions of South Asia (Hinduism)

Additional interdisciplinary emphasis: European Medieval Studies

Dissertation Title: Sri Sabhapati Swami and the “Translocalization” of Śivarājayoga; Dissertation Advisor: David Gordon White

Comprehensive Exams: (1) World Alchemical Traditions, (2) Sufism in South Asia, (3) Buddhist Tantra, (4) Daoist Alchemy

2014 – 2015                 M.A. International Studies: South Asian Studies (2nd M.A.)

                                       University of Washington (Seattle campus)

2011 – 2014                 M.A. International Studies: Comparative Religion

                                       University of Washington (Seattle campus)

2006 – 2010                 B.A. International Studies (Political Science)

                                       Pepperdine University


2021 – Present           The Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

Assistant Professor (Post-doc/Research Associate), Project Title: “Cultures of Patronage: script, print and performance in the making of regional and imperial spaces of communication and knowledge circulation across India 1674–1890”

2016 – 2021                University of California, Santa Barbara

Teaching Assistant, Department of Religious Studies and Department of Global Studies

Keith Edward Cantú is a postdoctoral scholar at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, where he is researching South Asian sources for modern occult yoga as part of the DFG-funded project “Alternative Rationalities and Esoteric Practices from a Global Perspective.” From December 2021 to October 2022 he held the post of Assistant Professor (Postdoc / Research Associate) at the Jagiellonian University, where he researched modern Tamil yoga traditions and their connection with patronage. He received his doctoral degree in Religious Studies (South Asian religions) at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2021, and was an AIIS Junior Fellow based in Chennai from 2019–20. From 2014 to 2017 he co-edited ‘City of Mirrors: Songs of Lālan Sā̃i’, a volume of nineteenth-century Bengali songs that were translated by Carol Salomon. His dissertation and forthcoming book on the yoga of Sri Sabhapati Swami examines the Tamil, pan-Indian, and international reception of Sabhapati’s system of yoga, which spans multiple linguistic and cultural worlds, including several modern esoteric currents that incorporate (or appropriate) yoga.

Keith Cantú, Like a Tree Universally Spread: The Śivarājayoga of Sri Sabhapati Swami, Oxford Studies in Western Esotericism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2023 [final manuscript submitted]).

Keith Cantú, “Sri Sabhapati Swami: The Forgotten Yogi of Western Esotericism,” in The Occult Nineteenth Century: Roots, Developments, and Impact on the Modern World, ed. Lukas Pokorny and Franz Winter (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), 347–73.

Keith Cantú, “‘Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels’: Western Esotericism, Yoga, and the Discourse of Authenticity,” in New Approaches to the Study of Esotericism, ed. Egil Asprem and Julian Strube, Supplements to Method & Theory in the Study of Religion (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 109–26.

Keith Cantú, “Islamic Esotericism in the Bengali Bāul Songs of Lālan Fakir,” Correspondences 7, no. 1 (2019): 109–65.

Carol Salomon, City of Mirrors: Songs of Lālan Sā̃i, ed. Keith Cantú and Saymon Zakaria, South Asia Research (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).

Research Project at CAS-E