Saila Sri Kambhatla

Saila Sri Kambhatla

Research Interest


MA: Development Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi, India, 2020

PG Diploma: Liberal Studies, Ashoka University, Sonipat, India, 2017


Saila Sri Kambhatla is a PhD student in the Department of Religion at Columbia University. Saila's research explorations lie at the intersection of Hinduism and Goddess studies, political theory and environmental studies. Her research weaves together questions of caste, gender, labor and ecology in South Asian Studies for a multi-faceted approach to understanding local or village goddesses. She is primarily interested in the historical and anthropological study of village goddess traditions in the Telugu-speaking regions of South India. Her research investigates the varied narratives, mythologies and expressions for the human-spirit-deity goddesses through their relational subjectivities and modern histories. Through multi-sited ethnographic research and archival study, Saila will investigate the ecological and laboring conditions of life and livelihood around village goddesses. She is also interested in the modern and digital public sphere that shapes the ritualistic and performative cultures of the religious traditions.

Prior to pursuing doctoral studies in Religion at Columbia, Saila received her academic training in disciplines of Social Anthropology (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, 2020-22), Development Studies (Ambedkar University Delhi, 2018-20), and Liberal Arts (2016-17). Saila has also worked for non-profit organizations and research projects for improved implementation of social policies in India for over four years (2016-20).