Areas: Contemporary Hinduism and Islam

Research interests: Nationalism, Religion and Media, Religion in Popular Culture, Personhood, Gender


PhD McGill University,  Montreal 2015

MA University of Colorado at Boulder 2008

MA School of Oriental and African Studies, London 2005

BA Webster University, St Louis 2004

BFA School of the Art Institute of Chicago 1993


Other Publications


“The New Gods: Free Will, Determinism, and AI in Westworld and DEVS.” Journal of Popular Culture. June.


“Liberal Prepping as Apocalyptic Eco-Religion.” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. December


Theology and Westworld. Co-edited with Shayna Sheinfeld. Lexington Press.


Personhood in Science Fiction: religious and philosophical considerations. Palgrave-Macmillan, 2019. (book)

“Muslim Women Cosplayers: Intersecting Religious, Cultural, and Fan Identities,” in The Sacred in Fantastic Fandom. Edited by Carole Cusack and John Morehead. McFarland.

“Mediating Hindu Identities: cultural regrouping online,” in Digital Hinduism. Edited by Xenia Zeiler.  Routledge [Forthcoming].



Hinduism and Hindu Nationalism Online. Routledge, 2018 (book)

“Hijabi Cosplay: performances of culture, religion, and fandom,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. 30.2 (Summer): 87-105.



“The Rhetoric of Violence, Religion, and Purity in India’s Cow Protection Movement,” Journal of Religion and Violence. May 2017: 131-149.

“Digital Hinduism.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Hinduism. Ed. Tracy Coleman. New York: Oxford University Press, February.



“Hindu diaspora as ‘virtual community’: digital neighborhoods, electronic transnationalism,” Symposia Volume VII, University of Toronto. 2015. pp. 1-16.

“Modi-era Nationalism and the Rise of Cyber-Activism.” Exemplar 3.1. Special Issue: The Meaning of Modi. 3:1 Spring 2015. pp. 9-17.



“Is there such a thing as ‘cyberimperialism’?” Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 28.3 May 2014, pp. 1-11.



“Saffron Terror: Splinter or Symptom?” Economic and Political Weekly, vol XLVI no 37, 10 Sept 2011, pp. 22-25.

Blog Posts


    So many….


    Upcoming Talks and Conferences


    Whose Utopia? Personhood, ability, exclusion, and belonging. Religion and Media Workshop (invited speaker), American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Conference. San Diego, CA. November 2019.

    “Mediated Hindutva.” U.S. State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (invited panelist). Washington, DC. March 18, 2019.

    Counter-colonialism and the Afrofuturist utopica in Black Panther. American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Conference. Denver, CO, November 2018.

    A “Proper” Hindu woman: Hindu nationalism vs. feminist activism on social media. International Society for Media, Religion, and Culture (ISMRC). Boulder, CO, August 2018


     (Re)telling History: The fiction of idealized Hindu nationhood. British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference. Savannah, GA, February 2018.


    Techno-orientalism: representations of South Asia on the Web. Association for Global South Studies (AGSS). Marrakesh, Morocco. December 2017.


    Personhood in HBO’s Westworld. American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Conference. Boston, MA. November 2017.


    Secularism, plurality, and majority: “Religious freedom” in India. SECSOR (Southeast regional AAR), Raleigh, NC. March 2017.


    Dalit suicides and post-colonial hangovers. British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference. Savannah, GA, February 2017.


    Rhetoric of violence, religion, and purity in India’s Cow Protection movement. American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Conference. San Antonio, TX. November 2016.


    Secularism vs Sickularism: The post-colonial legacy of communalism in India. British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference. Savannah, GA, February 2016.


    Trans…something? Labelling alternate sexual identities in Indian vs US media. Center for Media, Religion, and Culture (CMRC) Annual Conference. Boulder CO, January 2016.


    Talking about Saffron Terror in ‘Secular’ India, Association of Asian Studies (AAS) National Conference, Toronto March. [Panel organizer and presenter] 2012.


    Hindu Radicalism and the ‘Talibanisation’ of Hinduism, American Academy of Religion Eastern International Regional Conference (AAR-EIR), Syracuse NY, May 2011.


    Secular Religion? Cultural Nationalism vs Hindutva in the fight for “Who is a Hindu?” South Asian Studies Conference, Madison WI, October 2010.


    The ‘Talibanisation’ of Hindutva, Midwest Conference of Asian Affairs (MCAA), Oxford OH, October 2009.


    Civilised = Secular? Replicating colonial discourses in Hindu Nationalism, Association for Asian Studies (AAS) National Conference, Chicago IL, March 2009.





    Juli Gittinger

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    Active 9 months ago