Aalekhya Malladi

Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow of Anthropology and Religion

Aalekhya Malladi received her docotrate degree from the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University in 2022. Her dissertation, entitled "Gender, Detachment, and Devotion in the Lives of 18th c. Telugu Poet Vengamamba" explores the texts and the life histories of devotional poet Vengamamba (1735-1817), and conceives of a distinct female perspective on devotion and detachment. This project also examines her hagiographies and the rituals performed at her shrine, which illuminate the way that her at-times transgressive compositions and life histories have been tamed and curtailed by a hagiographical tradition that shapes her life into that of an ideal "female devotee". Aalekhya held the Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship in 2019-2020.

Aalekhya's research interests include the intersections of bhakti yoga and gender, and Telugu literature. She is fluent in spoken Telugu, Hindi, and French, and has training in reading classical Telugu and Sanskrit.


BA| Rutgers University| 2014

MA| Columbia University| 2016

PhD| Emory University| 2022