Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz

 Jessica Birkenholtz

Contact Information

3027 FLB
707 S. Mathews
Urbana, IL 61801
Assistant Professor
View CV

Additional Campus Affiliations

Research Interests

  • Hinduism
  • Women and religion
  • Himalayan religions

Research Description

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 (forthcoming from Oxford University Press) 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 (Routledge 2016). Professor Birkenholtz is the Reviews Editor for HIMALAYA, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies. 

Education

  • PhD University of Chicago, 2010
  • BA Vassar College, 1998

Selected Publications

Books

Reciting the Goddess: Narratives of Place and the Making of Hinduism in Nepal Oxford University Press 2017.

Edited Books

Photo of publication
Birkenholtz, Jessica Vantine, and Megan Adamson Sijapati Religion and Modernity in the Himalayas Routledge Press 2016. Book Link.

Book Contributions

Birkenholtz, Jessica Vantine From Text to Internet, Aniconic to Statuesque: Modern Textual and Performative Innovations in a Nepali Goddess Tradition Religion and Modernity in the Himalaya From Text to Internet, Aniconic to Statuesque: Modern Textual and Performative Innovations in a Nepali Goddess Tradition Routledge Press 2016.

Journal Articles

Seeking Svasthani: The Politics of Gender, Location, Iconography and Identity in Hindu Nepal Journal of Hindu Studies 6 2 2013, p. 198-227. Journal of Hindu Studies.
Review of Women in the Hindu Tradition Rules Roles and Exceptions by Mandakranta Bose Journal of Hindu Studies 5 1 2010.