Emilia Bachrach

  • Associate Professor of Religion and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies


  • PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 2014
  • MTS, Harvard Divinity School, 2008
  • BA, Smith College, 2004


Emilia Bachrach’s ethnographic research has focused on how interpretations of religious texts inform and are informed by intimate negotiations of the family and the self, and by changing class, regional, and gender identities in contemporary western India. Her monograph on this subject, Religious Reading and Everyday Lives in Devotional Hinduism, was published in 2022 as part of the American Academy of Religion’s “Religion in Translation Series” with Oxford University Press.

Bachrach’s developing research includes a study of how Hindu masculinities are negotiated through social media and a long-term ethnographic book project on Hindu women’s cultivation of piety through ascetic practices in the city of Ahmedabad. She has also initiated new fieldwork that considers how retail shops (e.g., fruterías) function as important sites for cultural and religious networking among newly relocated people from South Asia (namely, Pakistan) in Barcelona, Spain. She is coauthoring a sourcebook on women in Hindu traditions with Sohini Sarah Pillai and Jennifer D. Ortegren.

Her writing has appeared in Fieldwork in Religion, the Journal of Hindu Studies, and the Journal of Vaishnava Studies, among others. Her 2019 book, In the Service of Krishna: Illustrating the Lives of Eighty-Four Vaishnavas from a 1702 Manuscript in the Amit Ambalal Collection (published with Mapin), was featured in a discussion presented by the New Books Network.

Spring 2024

Introduction to Religion: Devotion and Performance in South Asia — GSFS 135
Introduction to Religion: Devotion and Performance in South Asia — RELG 135
Religion, Wellness, and the Commodification of Yoga — GSFS 230
Religion, Wellness, and the Commodification of Yoga — RELG 230