Carla Bellamy


Voice: 646 312-4438
Fax: 646 312-4461
Location: VC 4-257


Professor Bellamy and Famous FriendColumbia University (PhD, MPhil); Harvard University (MTS); St. Olaf College (BA cum laude with departmental distinction)


Carla Bellamy’s research focuses on the dynamic intersection of religious identity, religious conflict, and conceptions of selfhood, healing, and misfortune in contemporary India. Her first major ethnographic research project explored these issues in the context of the culture of Indian Muslim saint shrines; the resulting book manuscript, titled The Powerful Ephemeral: Everyday Healing in an Ambiguously Islamic Place, was published by University of California Press in August 2011.

Courses Currently Taught

Translating Between Worlds: Anthropology and Literature (seminar) The Lives of Hinduism: A Survey Introduction to South Asian Religion: Powerful Ideas and Systems of Power The Tradition of Islam Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Recent Publications

Books The Powerful Ephemeral: Hindus and Others in an Ambiguously Muslim Place, University of California Press, August 2011.


“How to Pray Well with Others: Non-Muslim Pilgrims at the Dargah of Husain Tekri,” in Lines in Water: Religious Boundaries in South Asia, Tazim Kassam and Eliza Kent, eds., forthcoming 2012.

“Person in Place: Possession and Power at an Indian Islamic Saint Shrine,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, volume 24, number 1, Spring 2008.

“Smoking is Good for You: Absence, Presence, and the Ecumenical Appeal of Indian Islamic Healing Centers” International Journal for Hindu Studies, volume 10, number 2, March 2007.


Review of God of Justice by William Sax in Journal of Asian Studies, volume 70, number 1, February 2011. Review of Religion and Healing, Linda L. Barnes and Inés M. Talamantez, editors, in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, forthcoming 2012. Review of The Self Possessed by Fred Smith in International Journal of Hindu Studies, volume 13, number 1, April 2009.

Awards, Fellowships, and Honors

Baruch College Rubin Fellow, Spring and Summer 2011 Baruch College Whiting Research Award, Spring 2009, Spring 2010 Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza New Scholar of the Year Award, 2007 Columbia University Department of Religion Summer Research Fellowship, 2004 Mellon Fellowship, 1999 – 2001, 2002, 2004, Spring 2006 American Institute of Indian Studies Junior Research Fellowship, 2002 – 2003 Kevorkian Center summer fellowship for intermediate Persian, 2002 AIIS academic year Advanced Hindi Language Fellowship, 2000 – 2001 Foreign Language and Area Studies summer fellowship for study of Hindi in India, 1999

The City University of New York