How do religious traditions form? What makes one religious community enduring and another fleeting? Why do people revise and reshape traditions in specific ways? These are some of the questions I pose in my research of Hindu Tantra. My book project, A Goddess for the Second Millennium, provides the first comprehensive study of the early history of the worship of Tripurasundarī (the Beautiful Goddess of the Three Cities). My second project, Śrīvidyā at the Crossroads: Tantra, Vedānta, and Bhakti, examines later transformations that reshaped the worship of Tripurasundarī into what is known today as Śrīvidyā (Auspicious Wisdom): a devotional (bhakti) Tantric (i.e., esoteric) and Vedic (i.e., orthodox, socially normative) tradition with a major role in institutional and devotional Hindu practice.
Academic Interests Religious studies, Asian religious traditions, history of Tantric traditions, Hindu goddesses, ritual and devotional practices in South Asia and the diaspora, Sanskrit language and literature, and intellectual history in pre-modern India.
Cornell University, Ph.D., Department of Asian Studies; Concentrations: Asian Religions and South Asian Literature and Culture; Dissertation Title: “A Goddess for the Second Millennium: Transgression and Transformation in the Hindu Tantric Worship of Tripurasundarī”
Columbia University, M.A. in Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures (now MESAAS)
Moscow State Linguistics University, B.A. in Linguistics and Intercultural Communications with Distinction (Red Diploma), Pedagogical Department
Academic Positions Visiting Scholar, Cornell University, South Asia Program (August 2019–current) Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Bowdoin College, Department of Religion (2017–current) Instructor of Record, Cornell University, Department of Asian Studies (2011–2017)
Teaching In the classroom, I am committed to using active learning techniques and applying Reacting to the Past and other inclusive methodologies to teaching Asian religions, languages, and cultures.