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Academics

Anya Golovkova

Assistant Professor of Religion

Religion

Areas of Specialization

Asian Religions
Religion and Gender
Hindu Tantric Traditions
Hindu Goddesses
Ritual and Devotional Practices in South Asia and Diasporic Communities
Reacting to the Past (Role-Playing Games for Engaged Learning)

Education

Cornell University
PhD, Asian Religions Concentrations, Department of Asian Studies, 2017

Dissertation Title: A Goddess for the Second Millennium: Transgression and Transformation in the Hindu Tantric Worship of Tripurasundarī

Oxford University
MSt, Oriental Studies, with distinction, 2010

Columbia University
MA, Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures, 2009

Moscow State Linguistics University, Pedagogical Department
BA, Linguistics and Intercultural Communications, with distinction, 1996

Publications

“Kāmeśvarī: Visualizing the Goddess of Desire,” In M. Slouber, Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: An Anthology of Hindu Goddess Tales, University of California Press, 267–89. In press.

“The Cult of the Goddess Tripurasundarī in the Nityākaula, the Vāmakeśvarīmata and the Yoginīhṛdaya,” In R. Torella (ed.), Tantra and Āgamas: Proceedings of the 15th World Sanskrit Conference; Vol. V, DK Printworld, 162–86. In press.

“The Forgotten Consort: The Goddess and Kāmadeva in the Early Worship of Tripurasundarī,” International Journal of Hindu Studies vol. 24, no. 1, May 2020, 87–106.

“From Worldly Powers to Jīvanmukti: Ritual and Soteriology in the Early Tantras of the Cult of Tripurasundarī,” Journal of Hindu Studies, vol. 12, no. 1, May 2019 (special issue: Liberation in Hindu Culture), 103–26.

“Śrīvidyā,” In: K. A. Jacobsen (ed.), Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume Four: Historical Perspectives, Poets, Teachers, and Saints, Relation to other Religions and Traditions, Hinduism and Contemporary Issues, 815–22. Leiden and Boston: Brill, Handbuch der Orientalistik, Zweite Abteilung, Indien, 2012.

Forthcoming

A Goddess for the Second Millennium, book manuscript

Invited Talks

2020             
"A Goddess for the Second Millennium: On the Early Worship of Tripurasundarī,"
South Asian Religions Colloquium (SARC), Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University, November 5

2020             
"Conceptions of Liberation in the Hindu Tantric Worship of the Goddess Tripurasundarī,"
Cornell University, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and South Asia Program, January 27

2018             
“The Literary World of the Vāmakeśvarīmatavivaraṇa,” International Conference on Shakta Tantra,
Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies, December 17–19

2018             
“Why Did Śrīvidyā Flourish?” An Advaitin View of Śrīvidyā Tantra: Honoring the Goddess,
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, March 2–3

 

Presentation: Research

 2019             
“Liberation for the Devotees of the Threefold Goddess: Ritual and Soteriology in the Early Tantras of the Cult of Tripurasundarī,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, November 23–26 (Panel Organizer)

2019             
“A Goddess for the Second Millennium: Working with Sanskrit Sources in North America,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, November 23–26

2017             
“A Visual History of the Goddess Tripurasundarī,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, November 18–21 (Panel Organizer)

2017             
“A Kaula Woman or a Lady of Good Family? New Interpretations of the Cult of the Goddess Tripurasundarī in Thirteenth-Century Exegesis,” 46th Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, Wisconsin, October 26–28 (Panel Organizer)

2016             
“Reading in the ‘Fringes’: Jayaratha’s Literary Manifesto and his Vision of Kashmir in the Framing Verses to Tantrālokaviveka and the Vāmakaśvarīmatavivaraṇa,” International Conference Around Abhinavagupta: Aspects of the Intellectual History of Kashmir, South Asia Program, Einaudi Center for International Affairs, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, October 25–26

2016             
“Renewal through Elaboration: Worshipping the Goddess Pratyabhijñā-style in Jayaratha’s Thirteenth-Century Kashmir,” 45th Annual Conference on South Asia, Center for South Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, October 20–23

2012             
“The Goddess Domesticated: Internalizing Love Magic in the Early Texts of the Tripurasundarī Cult,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, November 17–20

2012             
“The Cult of the Goddess Tripurasundarī in the Vāmakeśvarīmata and the Yoginīhṛdaya,” Fifteenth World Sanskrit Conference, Delhi, India, January 5–10

2010             
“Love Magic and Liberation in Premodern Sanskrit Tantras,” Global Scholars’ Symposium, Cambridge University, June 11–12

2010             
“The Cult of the Goddess Tripurasundarī in the Vāmakeśvarīmata,” Indology Graduate Seminar, Oxford University, May 28

2010             
“Love Magic in Śrīvidyā,” Clarendon Scholars’ Talking Heads Lecture Series, Oxford University, February 25

Campus Talks

2018             
“Immateriality & Infinity: Interdisciplinary Perspectives,” Gallery talk, Bowdoin College, May 1

Presentations: Pedagogy

2019             
“Diversity and Accessibility in Classroom Games,” Games in College Classrooms: A Three-Day Institute, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME, June 10–12 (Workshop Organizer and Facilitator)

2018             
“An Inclusive Reacting Classroom,” Roundtable, Eighteenth Annual Faculty Institute, Reacting to the Past Consortium, Barnard College, New York, NY, June 14–17 (Roundtable Organizer)

2017             
“Using Role Play in the First-Year Writing Seminar: Insider and Outsider Perspectives,” Teaching as Research National Conference, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, June 6 (Roundtable Organizer)

2017             
“Reacting to the Past: The Real Hunger Games,” Train the Trainer Pre-Conference Workshop, Teaching as Research National Conference, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, June 5

2017             
“Learning Through Roleplay,” Understanding Undergraduate Learners Series, Center for Teaching Excellence, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, April 21

Awards and Honors

2020             
American Academy of Religion, Annual Meeting Travel Grant

2019             
Faculty Course Development Award, Bowdoin College

2018             
Faculty Fellow, Center for Learning and Teaching, Bowdoin College

2018             
Faculty Research Award, Bowdoin College

2018             
Enhancing the Humanities at Bowdoin, Lectures and Concerts Grant, Andrew Mellon Foundation

2015–2018   
Partnership Development Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

2017             
Gertrude Spencer Prize, Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, Cornell University

2017             
Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning Travel Grant, Cornell University

2016             
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Practitioner Program, Center for Teaching Excellence, Cornell University

2016             
Peer Collaboration/Mentorship Program Award and Summer Fellowship, Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, Cornell University

2016, 2012, 2011
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Conference Grant Award, Cornell University

2016–2017, 2014–2015, 2012–2013, 2011–2012
Asian Studies Teaching Assistantships, Cornell University

2013–2014   
Dissertation Fellowship, Cornell University

2013             
International Travel Grant Award, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies

2012, 2011, 2010
Asian Studies Department Travel Grant Award, Cornell University

2010–2011   
Sage Fellowship, Cornell University

20092010    
Clarendon Fund Academic Scholarship, Oxford University

2009             
American Institute of Indian Languages (AIIS) Summer Fellowship in Sanskrit, India

2008–2009   
Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship in Telugu, Columbia University

Professional Development: Research

Research and Language Training

Fall 2013–Spring 2014 Dissertation Research, Oxford University

Fall 2008–Spring 2009 Sanskrit Scripts and Paleography, Columbia University                                      

Summer 2009 Sanskrit Program, American Institute of Indian Studies, Pune, India

Summer 2007 Sanskrit Program, South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI), Madison, WI

International Workshops

August 2016 Age of Vedanta Workshop and Critical Philology and the Study of South Asian Pasts Symposium, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, India

July 2010 Early Tantra Workshop, Hamburg University, Asia-Africa Institute, Germany

October 2009 Thinking Inside the Box: The Concept of a Category in Indian Philosophy, The Oxford Center for Hindu Studies, Somerville College, Oxford

Professional Development: Pedagogy

Conferences

“Summer of Reacting,” Reacting Consortium, online, Summer 2020
“Reacting to the Past” Game Development Conference, Simpson College, July 12–14, 2018
“Reacting to the Past” Eighteenth Annual Faculty Institute, Barnard College, June 14–17, 2018
“Reacting to the Past” Annual Winter Conference, Georgia State University, January 12–13, 2018
“Reacting to the Past” Seventeenth Faculty Institute, Barnard College, June 8–11, 2017
Creative Academic Writing, Cornell University, May 13, 2017
“Reacting to the Past” Sixteenth Annual Faculty Institute, Barnard College, June 8–12, 2016

Workshops

Teaching Faculty Fellow Institute, Bowdoin College, June 2018

Center for Learning and Teaching, Bowdoin College, August 2017–June 2019

  • Teaching Triangles (reciprocal assessment)
  • Building an Inclusive Classroom: What Student Voices Can Teach Us About Teaching
  • Facilitating Effective Discussions
  • Teaching Close Reading
  • Book Groups: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance and Teaching Across Cultural Strengths

Center for Teaching Excellence, Cornell University, September 2013–June 2017

  • Integrated Course Design
  • Active Learning Strategies for Engaging Students
  • Developing Rubrics for Efficient and Consistent Grading
  • Enhancing Teaching with Technology
  • Best Practices for Inclusive Teaching
  • Using Research Experience to Improve Teaching
  • Developing a Professional Identity in Teaching
Service to the Profession

December 2018–Current     
Steering Committee Member, Tantric Studies Unit, American Academy of Religion

September 2019–Current    
Inclusion Committee Member, Reacting Consortium (Role-Playing Games for Engaged Learning)

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Religion
Reacting Consortium (Role-Playing Games for Engaged Learning)