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Department of Religious Studies|College of Arts & Sciences

Antoinette E. DeNapoli
Assistant Professor

Fall 2014 Office Hours

Tues., 11:00-1:00 and Thurs., 11:00-12:00 and by appointment


B.A. University of South Florida 1996; M.A. Florida State University 2000; Ph.D. Emory University 2009, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies 2010.


Dr. DeNapoli is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. She received her Ph.D. from the West and South Asian Religions Program in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University. Dr. DeNapoli’s research, teaching, and writing focus on the religions and cultures of South Asia, and especially with Hindu traditions of devotion and piety; asceticism and mysticism; ritual and performance; and gender. Her Ph.D. dissertation entitled, “Leave Everything and Sing to God: The Performance of Devotional Asceticism by Female Sadhus of Rajasthan,” illustrates a new and devotional model of Hindu asceticism through analysis of contemporary female Hindu ascetics’ practices. Dr. DeNapoli’s professional interests include the comparative study of religion, religious experience, the anthropology of gender and sexuality, performance and narrative studies, and Indian cinema. Dr. DeNapoli is currently working on her book, "Real Sadhus Sing to God": Gender, Asceticism, and Vernacular Religion in Rajasthan. She is also co-editing a volume that explores gendered performances of power, piety, and patronage in South Asia.


"By the Sweetness of the Tongue’: Duty, Destiny, and Devotion in the Oral Life Narratives of Female Ascetics of Rajasthan,” Asian Ethnology, Volume 68, Number 1 (2009): 81-108.

“Beyond Brahmanical Asceticism: Recent and Emerging Models of Female Hindu Asceticisms in South Asia,” Religion Compass 3 (2009): 1-19. ( 

“Write the Text Letter-by-Letter in the Heart: Non-Literacy, Religious Authority, and Female Sādhus’ Performance of Asceticism through Sacred Texts,” Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts and Contemporary Worlds, Volume 4, no. 1 (2010): 3-40. (

“Crossing over the Ocean of Existence: Performing ‘Mysticism’ and Exerting Power by Female Sadhus in Rajasthan,” Journal of Hindu Studies, Volume 3, no. 3 (2010): 298-336.

“Meeting is Good, but Parting is Painful: Gender, Asceticism, and Vernacular Religion in Rajasthan—A Devotional Model,” in Introducing Hinduism. Edited by Pratap Kumar Penumala, London: Equinox Publishers Ltd., forthcoming, July 2011.

Courses Taught

Religious Landscapes of Asia
History of Hinduism
History of Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
South Asian Islam
Mysticism, Yoga, and Enlightenment in the East
Gods, Avatars, Heroes, and Mystics: The Divine Personality in Eastern Religions
Religion and the Politics of Gender in Asia
Goddess Traditions of South Asia
Asceticism East and West
Religion and Globalization in India (travel abroad course)
Theory and Method in the Study of Religion

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Antoinette DeNapoli

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