Dr. Michelle Folk

Sessional Member of Religious Studies
BA Hons, MA (Regina), PhD (Concordia)

Phone: 306.206.2096 | Office: LC 301

Short Bio

Michelle L. Folk received the degree of doctor of philosophy in religious studies from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in the fall of 2013 with a focus on Hinduism and Islam in South Asia. Her dissertation, entitled Ascetics, Devotees, Disciples, and Lords of the Matam: Monasteries in Medieval Tamilnadu, examined the endowments that were recorded on the walls of South India’s religious institutions from the ninth to thirteenth century for what these epigraphical records reveal about the activities and people associated with matams during this period. Her research and teaching interests include asceticism and monasticism, gender and sexualities, narrative and identity construction, and colonialism in the South Asian context. She teaches in religious studies at Campion and Luther Colleges at the University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Research Interests

  • Gender and sexualities in South Asia
  • History of religion in South Asia
  • Material culture and religion
  • Monasticism and asceticism

Representative Publications

  • “Mapping Medieval Monasteries and Challenging Monasticism’s Ascetic Ideal.” Circles of Current Communications and Discourses in Canadian Studies of Hinduism and Buddhism panel. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, 2019.
  • “Anguish Instead of Delight: The Articulation of Salvation by Tamil Bhaktas.” On Anguish and Delight in Hindu Cosmology panel. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, 2018.
  • “Both Guru and Goddess: Mata Amritanandamayi of Kerala.” In Women and Religious Traditions, 3rd ed., edited by Pamela Dickey Young and Leona M. Anderson. Oxford University Press, Toronto, Ontario.
  • “Should We ‘Read’ the Writing on the Wall? Approaches to India’s Inscriptions.” Paper presented at the Canadian Historical Association, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, 2015.