Michelle Folk

Sessional Lecturer (Luther College)
PhD (Concordia University)

E-mail: michelle.folk@uregina.ca
Phone: 306-585-5128

Current classes
Spring/Summer 2024 - RLST 100-L070 / Fall 2024 - RLST 100-C01, RLST 100-C21

I am a graduate of the University of Regina, having received a bachelor of arts (high honours) and a master of arts in religious studies before completing my doctor of philosophy in religious studies at Concordia University in Montreal. My past research interests have included work on medieval Hindu and Muslim women on the subject of conformity and rebellion and identity construction through narrative by Hindu poets. My dissertation, Ascetics, Devotees, Disciples, and Lords of the Matam: Monasteries in Medieval Tamilnadu, examined epigraphical materials for what they reveal about the activities and people of South India's matams in the ninth to thirteenth centuries. Recently, I served a researcher and facilitator for the local planning committee of the North American Interfaith Network Connect: Restoring Spirit Through Sacred Listening, an interfaith and interreligious conference that was held on campus in the summer of 2015. While I continue my work on South India's medieval-period inscriptions, I am also a research assistant for the SSHRC-funded project New Muslim Public Spheres in the Digital Age and am in the early stages of a project on storytelling, multiculturalism, religious identity in Saskatchewan with Dr. Brenda Anderson of Luther College.

Sample Work:

“Both Guru and Goddess: Mata Amritanandamayi of Kerala.” Revised. In Women and Religious Traditions, 3rd ed., edited by Pamela Dickey Young and Leona M. Anderson, Oxford University Press, Toronto, Ontario, 2015.

Should We ‘Read’ the Writing on the Wall? Approaches to India’s Inscriptions, Canadian Historical Association, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, 2015.

Challenging the Ascetic Ideal by Tracing the Evolution of Asceticism in Medieval India, Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 2014.

The Teacher, Disciple, and Lineage: Should They Always Define the Matha? Pacific-Northwest Region of the American Academy of Religion, University of Alberta, Calgary, Alberta, 2014.

Review of David Dean Shulman’s Spring, Heat, Rains: A South Indian Diary. Journal of Religion and Culture: A Canadian Graduate Student Journal, 2010.

Identity Construction Through Narrative: A Study of Manikkavacakar’s Tiruvacakam, Fifth International Workshop on Tamil Epigraphy, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, University of Paris (Sorbonne), Paris, France, 2008.

Sample Awards:

2007-08 Graduate Research Fellowship,
Shastri-Indo Canadian Institute.

2006-07 Student Excellence Award,
Shastri-Indo Canadian Institute.

Courses Taught:

Introduction to Religious Studies
Introduction to Hinduism(s)
Religious Experiences and Psychological Perspectives
Hindu Deities
Mysticism in World Religions
Goddesses and Women