College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Religious Studies > Faculty > Kalyani Menon

Kalyani Menon

Kalyani Devaki Menon is an anthropologist of religion whose research focuses on the intersection of political ideology and religious practice in India. Her earlier work examined the religious politics of the Hindu Right in India. This research culminated in her book, Everyday Nationalism: Women of the Hindu Right in India (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010). In it she analyzed how women in the Hindu nationalist movement used particular constructions of religion, culture, and history to disseminate the ideology of the Hindu Right and to expand its base. More recently, she has been interested in the responses of religious minorities in India to the exclusionary and violent politics of the Hindu Right. This research is the focus of her book, Making Place for Muslims in Contemporary India (Cornell University Press, 2022). In it she explores how diverse groups of Muslims residing in Old Delhi construct community and belonging through everyday religious practice, and make place for themselves in modern India. Articles based on this research include, "Life, Labour, and Dreams: One Woman's Life in Old Delhi" published in Contemporary South Asia (2022), “Communities of Mourning: Negotiating Identity and Difference in Old Delhi” published in Contemporary South Asia (2017), and “‘Security’, Home and Belonging in Contemporary India: Old Delhi as a Muslim Place” published in Etnofoor (2015).

Research Interests
- Religious Politics
- South Asian Cultures and Religions
- Gender and Nationalism

Courses Frequently Taught
 REL 221  Religion in Society: ​South Asia
 REL 261  Religion and Political Conflict in South Asia
 REL 300​  Theories of Religion and Culture
 HON 104  Religious Worldviews and Ethical Perspectives