Curriculum Vitae
EDUCATION

Ph.D., University of California at Santa Barbara, Religious Studies, 2015
M.A., University of California at Santa Barbara, Religious Studies, 2011
B.A., Rutgers University, English, French, minors in Religion and South Asian Studies, 2008

TEACHING POSITIONS

2015–              Lecturer, Religious Studies Program, California Polytechnic State University

PUBLICATIONS

Books

  • Biography of a Yogi: Paramahansa Yogananda and the Origins of Modern Yoga. New York: Oxford University press, 2017.

Articles

  • Yogi Calisthenics: What the ‘non-Yoga’ Yogic Practice of Paramahansa Yogananda Can Tell Us About Religion .” Journal of the American Academy of Religion  (2017)  85.3: 494-526.    
  • “Mind Within Matter: Science, the Occult, and the (Meta)physics of Ether and Akasha.” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 51.2 (2016): 318-346.
  • “Slender Waists and Severed Breasts: The Construction of Female Bodies and Feminine Subjectivities in Krsna-Bhakti Poetry,” forthcoming in special edition of International Journal of Hindu Studies, edited by Barbara Holdrege.

Book Chapters


Encyclopedia Entries and Bibliographies

  • “Self-Realization Fellowship.” World Religions and Spirituality.    
  • “Gender and Sexuality.” Oxford Bibliographies in “Hinduism,” edited by Alf Hiltebeitel. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • “Akashic Records.” Ghosts, Spirits, and Psychics: The Paranormal from Alchemy to Zombies, edited by Matt Cardin. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2014.

Online Articles and Responses


Book Reviews

  • Review of April D. DeConick, The Gnostic New Age: How a Countercultural Spirituality Revolutionized Religion from Antiquity to Today in  Reading Religion (2017).    
  • Review of Karline McLain, The Afterlife of Sai Baba: Competing Visions of a Global Saint in Reading Religion  (2017)
  • Review of Véronique Altglas, From Yoga to Kabbalah: Religious Exoticism and the Logics of Bricolage in Religions of South Asia, forthcoming.
  • Review of Geoffrey Samuel and Jay Johnston, eds., Religion and the Subtle Body in Asia and the West: Between Mind and Body in International Journal of Hindu Studies 19.3 (2015).
  • Review of Jarrod L. Whitaker, Strong Arms and Drinking Strength: Masculinity, Violence, and the Body in Ancient India in International Journal of Hindu Studies 18.3 (2014).
  • Review of Elizabeth de Michelis, A History of Modern Yoga: Patanjali and Western Esotericism in International Journal for the Study of New Religions 5.1 (2014).
  • Review of Marion Goldman, The American Soul Rush: Esalen and the Rise of Spiritual Privilege in International Journal for the Study of New Religions 5.1 (2014).

AWARDS & HONORS   
                  
  • 2015                 W. Richard Comstock Award for achievement in the study of Religion and Culture, UC Santa Barbara
  • 2009-14         Humanities Special Fellowship, UC Santa Barbara
  • 2008                Highest Honors in French Literature, Rutgers University
  • 2008                High Honors in English Literature, Rutgers University
  • 2008                Jordan Lee Flyer Honors Award for best undergraduate thesis in English, Rutgers University
  • 2008                Jamima Dingus Qualls Prize for best undergraduate essay on women writers or feminist issues, Rutgers University
  • 2007                Jaroslav M. Burian and Grayce Susan Burian Achievement Award in English, Rutgers University

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS & GUEST LECTURES

Conference Presentations

2016
  • “The Other Father of Modern Yoga: The Ghosh Lineage in ‘Bikram’ and ‘Barkan Method’ Teacher Trainings,” paper to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), San Antonio (November 20, upcoming)
  • “Forged Records?: The Theosophical Appropriation of Akasha,” paper to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), San Antonio (November 20, upcoming)

2015
  • “The Turbaned Superman: Popular Depictions of Yogi-figures and the Shift to a Scientific Universalism,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), Atlanta (November 23)
  • “Buying (into) Yoga: Perspectives on Andrea Jain’s Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture (Oxford University Press, 2014),” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), Atlanta (November 22)
  • “Turbans and Love Cults: Race, Sex, and the Feminization of Early American Yoga,” paper presented at the Yoga (R)evolution: Interrogating Possibilities and Practices Conference, UC Berkeley (April 10)

2014
  • “Yoga Pants, Yoga Body: The Feminization, Sexualization, and Pornification of Yoga,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), San Diego (November 24)

2013
  • “Masters of the God Particle: Vivekananda’s Science of Yoga and the Quantum Leap of Paramahansa Yogananda,” paper presented at DANAM at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), Baltimore (November 22)
  • “Astral Siddhas and Yogi-Christs: Bodily Immortality in Autobiography of a Yogi,” paper presented at the Conference on the Study of Religions of India (CSRI), Drew University (June 29)
  • “The Disuse of Pleasure: Constructions of Feminine Subjectivity in Indian Devotional Traditions,” paper presented at Princeton Theological Seminary Koinonia Forum, Princeton (March 7)

2012
  • “Sexed Voices, Gendered Bodies: Constructions of the Feminine Subject in Bhakti Poetry,” paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), Chicago (November 18)
  • “Pundits and Moguls: Yogic Power in the Marketplace and the Lineage of Bikram Choudhury,” paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, (AAR), Chicago (November 17)
  • “Slender Waists and Severed Breasts: The Construction of Sexed Female Bodies in Krsna Bhakti Poetry,” paper presented at Western Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR/WR), Santa Clara University (March 26)

2011
  • “Faith on the Mat: Hindus, Protestants, and the Construction of Yoga,” paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), San Francisco (November 20)
  • “Women of Both Sexes: Construction, Alteration, and Transformation of Gender in Krsna Bhakti Poetry,” paper presented at the Conference on the Study of Religions of India (CSRI), Loyola Marymount University (June 24)

 Guest Lectures and Talks

2015
  • “From Turbans to Yoga Pants: Race, Sex, and the Feminization of American Yoga,” presentation given for Cal Poly Theisms Club and Religious Studies Program (May 26)

2014
  • “The Man With Superpowers: A Yogi in the American Imagination and the Case of Paramahansa Yogananda,” presentation given to UCSB South Asians Religions and Cultures Research Focus Group (February 21)

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2015-6
Lecturer, Religious Studies Program, California Polytechnic State University
Religion, Gender, and Society; Religion, Science, and Technology

2014-5
Teaching Assistant, Writing Program, UC Santa Barbara
Academic Writing

2013-4
Teaching Associate (Instructor of Record), Religious Studies Department, UC Santa Barbara
Introduction to the Study of Religion, Summer 2014
Indic Civilization, Summer 2013

2010-13
Teaching Assistant, Religious Studies Department, UC Santa Barbara
Asian American Religions, Spring 2013
Zen Buddhism, Winter 2013
Religion and Psychology, Fall 2012
Asian Religious Traditions, Spring 2012
Religion and Politics, Winter 2012
Gods and Goddesses of India, Spring 2011
Religious Approaches to Death and Dying, Winter 2011, Fall 2011
Introduction to the Study of Religion, Fall 2010

2008-9
Teaching Assistant, Religion Department, Rutgers University
Hindu Philosophy, Fall 2008, Spring 2009

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS / SERVICE

  • American Academy of Religion (2010-present)
  • North American Hinduism Group Steering Committee Co-Chair (2016-2019)
  • Yoga in Theory and Practice Group Steering Committee (2016-2019)
  • North American Hinduism Group Steering Committee (2013-2016)

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

Written: Sanskrit, Hindi, Russian, French
Spoken: Russian, French