CONTACT

Mugdha Yeolekar

Department of Religious Studies

800, N. State College Blvd.,  Fullerton, CA 92831

Office: 657-278-4419

Cell: 480-789-1390

myeolekar@fullerton.edu

Mugdha Yeolekar

Assistant Professor of Religous studies

EDUCATION


Ph.D. in Religious Studies, Arizona State University, 2014.

Dissertation: “Gurucaritra Pārāyaṇ: Social Praxis of Religious Reading” (Committee Chair: Anne Feldhaus, Members: Alexander Henn and Julie Codell).

M.A. in Political Science, University of British Columbia, Canada, 2005.

M.A. in Political Science, University of Pune, India, 2002.

B. A. in Political Science (Major), Philosophy and Logic (Minor), University of Pune, India, 2000.

B.A. in Sanskrit, Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, India, 2000.

EXTENDED STUDY


A Twenty-week Online Reading Course of a Sanskrit Text entitled, “Aśvaghoṣa’s Buddhacarita,” Institute of Buddhist and Allied Studies, India, Fall 2020

Certificate Course in Buddhist Studies, Swami Vivekandanda Cultural Center, Sri Lanka; Sathaye College, India; and Pradaya Institute, India.

Quality Matters Improving Your Online Course Certificate Course, Quality Matters Organization, U.S.A., Summer 2020

Companions in Mission Program, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, USA., 2017-18.

Jain Yoga Program, Three-Week Summer Program, International Institute of Jain Studies, New Delhi, India, 2017.

Influences of Regional Literature on Sanskrit Writing in the Second Millennium, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, 2005.

PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS


California State University at Fullerton, Religious Studies, Assistant Professor, Fall 2018-present.

Uberoi Teacher Training Institute, Instructor, Study Abroad Program about Indian Religions, Summer 2018.

Loyola Marymount University, Theological Studies, Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow, 2015–2018.

Chapman University, Religious Studies, Adjunct Faculty, 2014-15.

Loyola Marymount University, Theological Studies, Adjunct Faculty, 2013–2015.

PUBLICATIONS

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • “Embedding diversity conversations in Religious Studies courses: Reflections on teaching Religions of the World.” In The International Journal of Diversity in Education. (Vol 21, 1:2020): 67-74
  • “Texts and Trees: Ritual Engagements with Audumbar Tree in the Dattatreya Sampradāya.” In Sustainable Societies: Interreligious, Interdisciplinary Responses, Springer Publication, USA (Book is in Press)
  • “Toddlers and Teas: Interreligious Play” (with Tracy Sayuki Tiemeier). In Interreligious Friendship. Palgrave (2015).
  • “Where Agency is Not Resistance: A Case of Women's Ritual Reading of Gurucaritra.” In Exemplar, The Journal of South Asian Studies. (Vol 2. 1, 2013): 59-71.

Book Reviews

  • Fifth Veda’ of Hinduism: Poetry, Philosophy and Devotion in the Bhagavaa Purana, by Ithamar Theodor, Fothcoming in Spring 2021 in Religions of South Asia. 
  • Place/No-place in Urban Asian Religiosity, by Joanne Punzo Waghorne, ed. Asian Ethnology. Available online at https://asianethnology.org/volumes/141 (Fall 2019) Vol 78 (1): 78-1.
  • A Place at the Multicultural Table, by Prema Kurien. The International Review of Modern Sociology. Available onlineat www.internationaljournals.org (Fall 2008):317-19.

Works in Progress

  • “Gender, Religion, and film: An Analysis of V. Shantaram’s Kunku.” Article to be submitted to Journal of Religion and Film in Spring 2021.

AWARDS AND HONORS


2020   Faculty Recognition in Service, Faculty Development Center

2020   (Intersession) Productive Online Writing with Accountability Program, CSUF

2020   Faculty Enhancement and Instructional Development Award, Faculty Development Center, CSUF

2019   CSUF Teaching Superhero, Faculty Recognition in Teaching, Faculty Development Center         

2019   IMPACT certificate for successful completion of FOUR workshops on high impact teaching, CSUF.

2010   Guest speaker at the 83rd Marathi Literature Meeting held in Pune, India. 

2008   Teaching Excellence Award, Graduate Professional Students’ Association, Arizona State University

2007   Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, Department of Religious Studies, Arizona State University

2002   Certified to teach at any university in India as a result of completing the national level test for               lecturers (NET)

2003    Gold Medal for Excellency in academics at the post- graduate level by the University of Pune, India.

1998-2001 Maharashtra Government Merit Scholarship, India.

1997    First Place, State of Maharashtra at the higher secondary school examination. 

Grants


2020   HSS Summer Stipend for Research and Writing, Cal State University at Fullerton

2016   Lilly Conference Support, Center for Teaching Excellence, Loyola Marymount University.

2011   Dissertation Research and Writing Fellowship: Department of Religious Studies, Arizona State University.

2011   Dissertation Completion Emeriti Fellowship, Preparing Future Faculty Program at Arizona State University.

2011   International Dissertation Fellowship for conducting research in India by the American Academy of Religion

2010   Research Grant for conducting dissertation fieldwork in India from the Graduate Professional Students Association, Arizona State University.

2008   Department of Religious Studies Conference Travel Grant.

2008   Arizona State University Graduate Professional Students’ Association, Conference Travel Grant.

2006   Arizona State University Center for Asian Research, Conference Travel Grant.

CONFERENCES


Papers Presented

  • “Rituals in Pandemics: reflections on Hindu ritual practices during the Covid-19 pandemic.” Zoom, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies annual conference, Columbia University, Dec 2020
  • “Role of films in shaping the cultural landscape of Maharashtra.” Zoom, Tilak Maharashtra Vidyeepath, Pune, India Dec 2020
  • “The Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion as a Site of Interreligious Friendship.” Zoom, National American Academy of Religion conference Nov 2020
  • “Diverse patterns of urban religiosity in Pune, India.” Milan, Italy Jun 2020 (Paper was accepted but conference was cancelled due to the global pandemic)
  • “What can South Asian films teach us about religion, gender identity, and social justice? Some reflections on Kunku—a 1937 Marathi film.” American Academy of Religion Western Region Conference Religion Film Literature. Virtual Conference in Covid-19 Pandemic, Mar 2020.
  • “Creating Inclusive Classrooms in California.” Nineteenth International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations, Patras, Greece. Jun 2019.
  • “Teaching Diversity through Experiential Learning.” Western Conference of Association of Asian Studies, Soka University, CA. Sep 2018.
  • “Reflections on Teaching Indian Religions to North American High School Teachers.” Uberoi Experts Meeting, Tampa. Sep 2018.
  • “Can the “vulnerable” be “powerful?”: Analyzing dynamics of power and vulnerability in a sixteen century Hindu text.” American Academy of Religion, Boston, MA. Nov 2017.
  • “Eco-theology in Hindu traditions.” Oberoi Foundation Conference, Denver, CO. Sep 2017.
  • “Some reflections on worship of trees in Hinduism.” the Conference on Sustainable Societies: Interreligious Interdisciplinary Responses, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA. May 2017.
  •   “Can the “vulnerable” be “powerful?”: Analyzing dynamics of power and vulnerability in a sixteen century Hindu text.” South Asian Studies Association Conference, Claremont, CA. Mar 2017.
  • “Gurucaritra Pārāyaṇ: Ek Bahuāyāmī Ākalan.”  Bhandarkar Institute of Oriental Research, Pune, India. Jul      2016.
  • “Religion and home-making: Some reflections on the practice of Gurucaritra Pārāyaṇ in Pune.” Religion and  Home-making Conference, Chennai, India. Jul 2016.
  • “This is not a book, it is a pothī”: analyzing material elements in ritual reading in Hinduism.”
  • Channeling Grace through Art Conference, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA. Jan 2015.
  • “Texts and Trees; Ritual Engagements with Audumbar in the Dattātreya Sampradāya.”  Seizing An Alternative: Ecological Civilization Conference, Claremont, CA. Jun 2015.
  • “The Social Practice of Religious Text in Contemporary Pune.” Western Conference of American Association of Asian Studies, Arizona State University,  Tempe, AZ. Oct 2014
  • “Women Reading a Forbidden Hindu Scripture: Gender Equality or Alternative Agency?” International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS 8), Macao, China. Jun 2013.
  • “The Dynamics Between Gurucaritra and Ritual Practices in the Dattatreya Tradition.” 41st Annual South Asia Conference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. Oct 2012.
  • “Suffering can be borne, injustice cannot be: Exploring ‘Secular’ and ‘Sacred’ in the film Kunku.” “Sacred and Secular Conference,” Department of English, University of Southampton, United Kingdom. Sep 2008.
  • “Historicizing “history” in Phule and Ambedkar: Two Non-Brahman Leaders in Maharashtra.” Western Conference of American Association of Asian Studies, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT. Sep 2007.
  • “Malibu Hindu Temple: a case of recreation and retention of the immigrant religion.” International Association for History of Religions conference, Bangkok, Thailand. May 2007.
  • (With Dr. Anne Feldhaus) “Ratnamala Stotra: Influences of Regional Languages on Sanskrit Writing in nd the 2     Millennium.” Sanskrit Scholars’’ Workshop at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, Jul 2005.
  • “Gujarat Carnage:  A Unique Case of Regional Consciousness or a Trendsetter in Indian Politics?” “International symposium on regional consciousness in India.” Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. 2004. 
  • “Gujarat; a laboratory of the constructed identity of Hindutva?” Canadian Association of South Asian scholars, University of Dalhousie, Nova Scotia, Canada. Jun 2003.

 

Panels/Events Organized

  •  “Infinite in its silence:” Exploring everyday religion through photos, a public talk and  exhibition of photographs by two conservation photographers on religions of India, Oct 8, 2019 CSUF
  • Towards Understanding Lateral Leadership: Reflections on medieval texts in Hinduism, Christianity and Sikhism, American Academy of Religion, Boston, MA. 2017
  • A public talk by Prof. Alexander Henn on Hindu- Catholic Encounters in Goa. Spring 2017.
  • A public talk by Prof. Vinay Lal on Gandhi and non-violence. Fall 2015.
  • Co-organizer, Graduate Student Conference, Center for Asian Research and Department of Religious Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Oct 2008

 

Other Participation

  • Participant in the Companions in Mission Program, Loyola Marymount University, 2017-18
  • Attended the University Ethics Conference (a three-day conference on evidence-based teaching) at Boston, MA.  Apr 2017.
  • Attended the Lilly Conference (a three-day conference on evidence-based teaching) at Anaheim, CA.  Feb 2017.
  • Participant in the Intercultural Pedagogy Workshop, Loyola Marymount University. 2016-17.
  • Participant in Postdoctoral Fellows Seminar, Loyola Marymount University. 2015-2017.

 

CAMPUS TALKS

  • “Introduction to Hindu theology.” Department of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University, Sep 2020.
  • “Reflections from Hindu World: Introduction to Intercultural Communication.” Pepperdine University, Sep 2017.
  • “Gurucaritra Parayan: Social Praxis of Religious Reading.” The Yadunandan Center for India Studies,

TEACHING EXPERIENCE


Introduction to Buddhism (3 sections ONLINE), CSUF

Introduction of Asian Religions (3 sections ONLINE), CSUF

Religions of the World (5 sections), CSUF

Introduction to Scientific Study of Religion (4 sections), CSUF

Humanities 100 (4 sections), CSUF

God and the Human Experience (1 section, 2017), Loyola Marymount University.

Women and Religion (1 sections, 2017), Loyola Marymount University.

Comparative Theology (10 sections, 2015-7), Loyola Marymount University.

Religion and (Non)Violence (3 sections, 2015–17), Loyola Marymount University.

World Religions in Los Angeles (6 sections, 2012–15), Loyola Marymount University.

Introduction to Hinduism (2 sections, 2014), Chapman University.

Living Religions of the World (2 sections, 2014), Chapman University.

Ritual, Symbol, and Myth (4 sections, 2012-14), Arizona State University.

Introduction to Hinduism (Internet Class 2 sections, 2008-2010), Arizona State University.

Ritual, Symbol, and Myth (Internet Class, 4 sections, 2008-2010), Arizona State University.

ASU 101- Experience ASU (1 section, 2007) Arizona State University.

Introductory Sanskrit (2 sections, 2006-07) Arizona State University.

Advanced Sanskrit (2 sections, 2006-07) Arizona State University.

Introductory Hindi (1 section, 2006) Arizona State University.

Teaching Assistant for Traditional Asia (4 sections, 2004-05), University of British Columbia, Canada.

 

SERVICE


Disciplinary Service

2020-    Steering Committee Member, Interreligious friendship seminar, American Academy of Religion.

2015-2020    Steering Committee Member, Women and Religion Committee, American Academy of Religion.

2019    Spring 2019 Ambassador for Open Educational Resources at CSUF

2017    Reflections from Hindu World for Introduction to Intercultural Communication, Pepperdine University.

2017    Respondent, Hindu-Catholic Dialogue annual meeting, “Hindu perspectives on Hindu-Catholic   encounters in Goa, India.” 

2016    Respondent, Hindu-Catholic Dialogue annual meeting, “Creating a “common home”: Perspectives on Hindu Eco-theology.”

2016, 2017    Presenter, Milken Institute, Reflections on Hindu cosmology and architecture during a tour to the Malibu Hindu Temple in Los Angeles.

2016    Panelist, Sacred Earth, University of Southern California.

2015    Presenter, “Teach India Program for California History Teachers,” California State University, Long Beach, CA. 

2014    Keynote Speaker at the Fish Interfaith Center, Diwali in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism Chapman University, CA.

2004    Discussant, Roundtable discussion "Trashing of the library: caste and religious dimensions of the attack"        on the Bhandarkar Institute at Pune, India, Center for the conflict resolution at the Arizona      State University, Tempe, AZ.

2007    Grant Reviewer, Arizona State University Graduate Professional Students’ Association Research Grant Competition.  

 

College-level Service


2020-21   Department Transfer Coordinator for the Transition Grant to focus on recruiting and retention on spring transfers at CSUF

2020 -21   Member of Committee on Internships and Service Learning, CSUF

2019-20   Member of Committee on Equity and Diversity for Humanities and Social Sciences Division, CSUF

2019-20   Member of Research and Grants Committee, CSUF

2018-20   Member of Asian Arts Council, CSUF

2019   Instructor, California Global Education Project, CSUF

 

Departmental Service


2019    Collaborated with other faculty in organizing the Jain Symposium for Department of Religious      Studies

2018-present   Advisor for Religious Studies Student Association for Department of Religious Studies

2018    Created and submitted a new course proposal for Jain Studies to Curriculog 

2017    Speaker, Theology and Human Rights Panel, Department of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University.

2017    Respondent, Spiritual Warriors: (non) Violence in the Sikh and Jain Traditions Conference, Loyola                 

 Marymount University, Los Angeles.

2016    Speaker, Change Your Heart, Department of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

2008    Facilitator, Methods and Theory Group, Department of Religious Studies, Arizona State University.

 

Service to community-at-large


2020    Organized and taught an eight-week course using virtual field visits and Ted talks on Zoom to elementary students during the pandemic for their mental and social wellness

2020    Grant Reviewer for College Grants to alumni of Center Street Elementary School

2019    Guest Speaker on South Asian religious traditions at Pacific Unitarian Church, Palos Verdes, LA

2019     Organizing Committee Member, PuLa Deshapande Event by Maharashtra Mandal Los Angeles

2018     Cooked at Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles

2018     Guest Speaker on Key features of Hindu traditions at the Rotary Club, Santa Clarita

2017     Guest speaker on Text and religious practices in Hindu traditions, Senior Citizens Community in Simi Valley

2017     Reflections from Hindu World for Introduction to Intercultural Communication, Pepperdine University.

2016, 2017   Presenter, Milken Institute, Reflections on Hindu cosmology and architecture during a tour to the Malibu Hindu Temple in Los Angeles.

2016     Panelist, Sacred Earth, University of Southern California.

2013-15   Editorial Board Member, Smaranika, Brihan Maharashtra Mandal Convention in Los Angeles. 2014       Keynote Speaker at the Fish Interfaith Center, Diwali in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism Chapman University, CA.

 

LANGUAGES


English, Marathi, Hindi highly proficient in reading, writing, and speaking.

Sanskrit proficient in reading, writing, and speaking.

Konkani proficient in reading and writing.

Kannada basic reading ability.

German, French basic reading ability.

 

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS


American Academy of Religion

American Association of Asian Studies

 

REFERENCES


Zakyi Ibrahim

Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, California State University at Fullerton

657.278.8241

zibrahim@fullerton.edu

800, N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92831

 

Anne Feladhaus

Professor of Religious Studies, Arizona State University

480-965-5778

Anne.feldhaus@asu.edu

975 S. Myrtle Ave, P.O.Box 874302, Tempe, AZ 85287-4302

 

Alexander Henn

Professor of Religious Studies, Arizona State University ahenn@asu.edu

975 S. Myrtle Ave, P.O.Box 874302, Tempe, AZ 85287-4302

 

Jonathan Rothchild

Associate Professor of Theological Studies

Associate Dean, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, Loyola Marymount University

310-338-1716 jrothchild@lmu.edu

University Hall 4600, One LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045 

 

Tracy Tiemeier

Associate Professor of Theological Studies

Undergraduate Director of Theological Studies

Loyola Marymount University parkerk3@duq.edu 310-568-6234

University Hall, One LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045