Anna A. Golovkova

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Religion

Teaching this semester

REL 1101. Introduction to the Study of Religion

Basic concepts, methods, and issues in the study of religion, with special reference to examples comparing and contrasting Asian and Western religions. Lectures, films, discussions, and readings in a variety of texts such as scriptures, novels, and autobiographies, along with modern interpretations of religion in ancient and contemporary Asian and Western contexts..

How do religious traditions form? What makes one religious community enduring and another fleeting? Why do people revise and reshape traditions in specific ways? These are some of the questions I ask in my research. My book project, A Goddess for the Second Millennium, provides the first comprehensive study of the early history of Hindu Tantric worship of Tripurasundarī (the Beautiful Goddess of the Three Cities). My second project examines later transformations that reshaped the worship of Tripurasundarī, known as Śrīvidyā (Auspicious Wisdom) tradition, into what it is today: a devotional Tantric (i.e., esoteric) and Vedic (i.e., orthodox, socially normative) system of worship with a major role in institutional and devotional Hindu practice. In the classroom, I am committed to using active learning techniques and applying Reacting to the Past and other inclusive methodologies to teaching Asian religions. As a CLT Faculty Fellow at Bowdoin, I am engaged in a yearlong initiative to enhance diverse and inclusive learning environments for students. For more information on my research and teaching, please visit my website at


  • B.A., Moscow State Linguistics University
  • M.A., Columbia
  • M.St., Oxford
  • Ph.D., Cornell

PDF Curriculum Vitae