Introduction – “Choosing Translation: How Methodological Decisions Can Reveal Systems of Power, Privilege and Politics in Religion and Religious Studies”
Shreena Niketa Gandhi is a multi-faceted cultural historian of religion with expertise in religion, race, the Americas and Hinduism. Trained at Swarthmore, Harvard and the University of Florida, Professor Gandhi currently teaches at Michigan State University, where she starts of the first few weeks of all her classes introducing students to the concept of structural white supremacy and why that is important for a better understanding of religion in the U.S. Her research and public scholarship are on the history of yoga, and she is revising a manuscript on this using the framework of white supremacy and cultural appropriation. Through her scholarship, she hopes to make all Americans from all backgrounds better understand how we have all benefited and suffered because of systematic white supremacy and racism, and her scholarship on yoga is one illustration of this system. Professor Gandhi is also a part of a multi-year collaborative project on intersectional Hinduism, which is supported through the American Academy of Religion and partially funded through the Wabash Center. Professor Gandhi joined the SORAAAD workshop committee in 2019.