About Dr. Holly Walters

Email: prolegomenon@gmail.com
Twitter: @Manigarm
Websites: www.peregrinationblog.com (Ethnography of Shaligrams)
www.mockingtheapocalypse.com (General Cultural Commentary)


  • PhD, Anthropology, 2013-2018 Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
    Dissertation Title: “Shaligram: Sacred Stones, Ritual Practices, and the Politics of Mobility in Nepal.
  • Master of Arts, Anthropology, 2011-2013 Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.
  • Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology; Certificate: Archaeology, 2001-2004 University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI.

Ethnographic Fieldwork/Research:

Mustang and Kathmandu, Nepal: June – August 2015, June 2016 – April 2017

  • Conducted 16 months of ethnographic/participant-observation fieldwork in Nepal supported by the Fulbright IIE Dissertation Research Grant.
  • Worked primarily with Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims, and local Mustangi Bon shamans, in relation to pilgrimage, ritual practices, spiritual ideals, and both textual and oral religious traditions.

Mayapur and Kolkata, India: June-August 2012

  • Designed and carried out an ethnographic study on ritual practices among Vaishnava/Krishna devotees in Mayapur and Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
  • Project was supported by grants from the Brandeis Department of Anthropology and the Brandeis Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. (This work was presented to the Society for Religious Anthropology in November 2012 during the American Anthropological Association annual meeting in San Francisco)

Programme for Belize Rio Bravo Project: Chawak but’o’ob, Orange Walk, Belize; June-July 2005

  • Survey of water control features and residential terraces using Nikon Total Mapping Station.
  • Excavation and stone-by-stone mapping of house structures in relation to religious structures, such as a temple and ball court. (This research has been published in the Occasional Publication series by the University of Texas. It also appears as part of several papers of the 2006 Society for American Archaeology Symposium regarding the site of Chawak But’o’ob.)

Teaching and Professional Experience:

Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology: Wellesley College, Department of Anthropology; 2019-Present
– Advanced Anthropological Theory; Fall 2019
– Ethnography of South Asia; Fall 2019

Lecturer: Babson College, Department of History and Society; 2019
– Culture and Mental Illness; Spring 2019

Lecturer: Brandeis University, Department of Anthropology, 2016
– Culture and Mental Illness; Spring 2016
– The Anthropology of Religion; Spring 2016

Teaching FellowBrandeis University, Department of Anthropology; 2012 – 2015, 2018-2019
– Post-Colonial Feminism; Spring 2019
– Culture and Mental Illness; Fall 2018, Global Pandemics; Fall 2018
– Linguistic Anthropology; Fall 2015, Psychological Anthropology; Spring 2015
– Myth and Ritual; Fall 2014, Queer Anthropology; Spring 2014
– Culture and Mental Illness; Fall 2013, Museums and Public Memory; Spring 2013
– Communication and Media; Fall 2012

Brandeis-India Initiative Program CoordinatorBrandeis University; 2013-2015

WriterEpic Systems Corporation; Verona, WI. 2006-2011


Open Access copies of most of my publications can be found at: https://wellesley.academia.edu/HollyWalters

Walters, Holly. Shaligram: Sacred Fossil Pilgrimage in the Nepal Himalayas. Manuscript Under Contract with Amsterdam University Press. New Mobilities in Asia Ethnographic Series. 2019.

Walters, Holly. “Krishna Has Many Lovers: Towards a Concept of the Queerly Divine in India.” Religion and Gender. Under Review. International Association for the Study of Religion and Gender (IARG). Utrecht University Library Open Access Journals

Walters, Holly and Hannah Gould. “Bad Buddhists, Good Robots: Techno-Salvationist Designs for Nirvana.” Journal of Global Buddhism, Special Issue on Bad Buddhism. In Press. October 2019.

Walters, Holly. “I Am Not This Body: Persons, Bodies, and Boundaries in Vaishnava Ritual Practice.” Sagar: A South Asia Research Journal. University of Texas at Austin. December 2018.

Walters, Holly. “Playing God: Participant Frameworks in the Ras Lilas of Krishna.” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Volume 28, Issue 2-3. University of Toronto Press. Fall 2016.

Guides and Seminar Materials:
Hanes, Amy and Holly Walters. “A Long Journey Home: Supporting Students in the Field.” Online. Retrieved from: https://metooanthro.org

Walters, Holly and Kersten Bergstrom. “A Long Journey Home: Faculty Guide.” Online. Retrieved from: https://metooanthro.org

Fellowships and Awards:

  • Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Writing Year Fellowship, 2017-2018 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Fulbright IIE Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, 2016-2017
    Fulbright U.S. Student Program
  • Robert A. Manners Prize, 2016
    Honoring a significant piece of scholarly writing for “Playing God: Participant Frameworks in the Ras Lilas of Krishna.
  • Brandeis Outstanding Teaching Fellows Award, 2016
  • Mellon Foundation Pre-Dissertation Exploratory Grant, 2015 Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Brandeis University
  • Brandeis-India Fellowship Research Grant, 2015
    Department of South Asian Studies, Brandeis University

Public Scholarship:

MeToo Anthropology Collective
“A Long Journey Home – Supporting Students in the Field” task force founder and contributing member, 2015 – Present

The Familiar Strange Anthropology Blog – Contributing Writer
2018 – Present

Invited Lectures:

“Fossil Folklores of the Himalayas.” April 2018
Invited talk and 2-day lecture series by the Anthropology and Folklore Departments of Northwest College in Wyoming.

“The History and Interpretive Traditions of Shaligram Practice in India and Nepal.” April 2017
Invited and sponsored by the Hindu Cultural Society of London to conduct a three-day seminar on Shaligram practices for the Hindu community and Diaspora of England.

Conference Presentations (Selected):

Roundtable Organizer and Moderator, American Anthropological Association (AAA), Vancouver, BC. Nov 2019
Roundtable title: “Consent and Vulnerability in Anthropological Practice”

Workshop Director, Alt-Sex Conference, New York City, NY May 2019
Workshop title: “Queer Identity and Activism in South Asia”

Panel Chair and Presenter, American Anthropological Association (AAA), Washington D. C. Nov 2014
Paper title: “Matters of Pride: The Construction of Race in White Power Rhetoric

Panel Chair and Presenter, American Anthropological Association (AAA), Chicago, IL Nov 2013
Paper title: “I Am Not This Body: Persons, Bodies, and Boundaries in Vaishnava Ritual Practice”

Presenter, American Anthropological Association (AAA), San Francisco, CA Nov 2012
Paper title: “Divine Husband, Divine Lover: Sensuality, Subjectivity, and Sacred Space Among the Krishna Devotees of Sri Mayapur

Presenter, NEAA-GBAC Conference, Boston, MA March 2012
Paper title: “Father Knows Best: Personhood and Power in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)”

Complete CV available for download at: https://wellesley.academia.edu/HollyWalters/CurriculumVitae