A U of I professor has published the first critical study of one of Nepal’s most cherished narrative traditions.
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz
- Women and religion
- Himalayan religions
Professor Birkenholtz’s areas of research include the comparative study of Hindu religious identity, practice, and literature from the medieval period to the present day, Hindu goddess traditions in Nepal and India, and gender and religion. Her first book, Reciting the Goddess: Narratives of Place and the Making of Hinduism in Nepal (Oxford University Press, 2018) examines the history and development of Nepal’s Svasthānī tradition, the widely read Svasthānī Vrata Kathā, and the role both goddess and text have played in Nepal’s historical construction as a Hindu state. She also co-edited Religion and Modernity in the Himalaya (Rutledge, 2016). Professor Birkenholtz is the Reviews Editor for HIMALAYA, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies.
- PhD University of Chicago, 2010
- BA Vassar College, 1998
Distinctions / Awards
In The News
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz, Assistant Professor of Religion, has published a new book titled Reciting the Goddess: Narratives of Place and the Making of Hinduism in Nepal (Oxford University Press).