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Rupa Pillai

Rupa Pillai profile picture
  • Title: Pro Tempore Instructor
  • Interests: Race and Ethnicity, Religion, Migration, Asian American Studies


B.A., University of Texas at Austin (2006); M.A., University of Chicago (2007); Ph.D., University of Oregon (2017)

Focus Area

Cultural Anthropology


Dr. Pillai is interested in the intersection of religion, ethnicity, and migration. Her dissertation, Caribbean Hinduism on the Move, is the culmination of 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork with the growing Indo-Caribbean Hindu community in New York City. Through this research, she explores how this community adapts and mobilizes Hinduism in this second migration, first from the Indian subcontinent and second from the Caribbean, to carve a space for themselves within the social landscape of New York City.