Dr. Deepra Dandekar, PhD

Affiliated Researcher

Regional focus: India, Indian Ocean
Dr. Deepra Dandekar, PhD
Dr. Deepra Dandekar, PhD


Since 2020
Research fellow, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient
Since 2021
Editor-in-chief of international peer-reviewed journal "Nidan: International Journal of Indian Studies", University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Since 2020
American Academy of Religion (AAR) steering committee member for the Hinduism Unit
2019 - 2021
Associate Editor of international peer-reviewed journal "Nidan: International Journal of Indian Studies", University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
2017 - 2020
Researcher at the Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin; Project: “Migration and Exclusion: Refugees to India after 1947”
2012 - 2015
Post-doctoral Researcher at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, University of Heidelberg; Project: “Sufi Shrines as Transcultural Communicative Interfaces in Western India”
2010 - 2011
Senior Research Associate at ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth, Centre for Child Health and Nutrition, Pune, India
2007 - 2008
DAAD doctoral scholarship holder at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University
2000 - 2005
Researcher at NGO (Bapu Trust on Mind and Discourse, Pune)


Ph.D. in History and Archaeology from the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute, Pune
2001 & 2003
Post-graduate Certificate and Diploma in Women’s Studies, University of Pune
M. Phil in Ancient Indian History and Culture, Deccan College Post-graduate & Research Institute, Pune
MA (Ancient Indian History), University of Delhi
BA (History Honors), St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi
Central Board of Secondary Education (High School), Springdales School, New Delhi



Dandekar, D. 2021. Baba Padmanji: Vernacular Christianity in Colonial India. London: Routledge.

Dandekar, D. 2019. The Subhedar’s Son: A Narrative of Brahmin-Christian Conversion from Nineteenth Century Maharashtra. New York: Oxford University Press.

Dandekar, D. 2016. Boundaries and Motherhood: Ritual and Reproduction in Rural Maharashtra. Zubaan Books, New Delhi.

Edited Volumes and Special Issues

(with Marin, Staci) Dandekar, D. (eds). 2021. Global South Scholars in the Western Academy: Harnessing Unique Experiences, Knowledges, and Positionality in the Third Space. London: Routledge.

Dandekar, D. (eds). 2020. “Christianity in India”. Nidan: International Journal of Indian Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2. ISSN: 2414-8636.

Dandekar, D. and T. Tschacher (eds). 2016. Islam, Sufism and Everyday Politics in South Asia. London: Routledge.

Journal Articles

Dandekar, D. 2021. "Women’s ‘Retrieval’ from Pakistan: ‘India’s Daughters’ and the Emotional History of Partition". South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies (4). 

Dandekar, D. 2019. “Zeba Rizvi’s Memory-Emotions of Partition: silence and secularism-pyar”. Contemporary South Asia 27(3): 392-406.

Dandekar, D. 2018. “Pilgrimage, Authority and Subversion: Anonymous Marathi Christian Didactic Literature in Nineteenth Century India”. Zeitschrift für Indologie und Südasienstudien 35, 39-60.

Dandekar, D. 2018. “Translation and the Christian Conversion of Women in Colonial India: Rev. Sheshadri and Bāḷā Sundarābāī Ṭhākūr”. South Asia: Journal of South Asia Studies 41, 366-383.

Dandekar, D. 2017. “A narrative of Satvai affliction in rural Maharashtra”. Asian Ethnology 76, 235-259.

Dandekar, D. 2015/ 2016. “Muṃbaī ke Aulīyā: The Sufi Saints Makhdoom Ali Mahimi (Mumbai) and Hajji Malang (Mumbai-Kalyan) in Songs and Hagiography”. Zeitschrift für Indologie und Südasienstudien 32/33: 233-255.

Dandekar, D. 2016. “Grey Literature at the Dargāh of Pīr Bābar Sheikh at Hātis”. Pantheon: Journal for the Study of Religions 11 (1): 121-135.

Dandekar, D. 2014. “Childlessness and Empathetic Relationships”. The Oriental Anthropologist 14:123-139.

Dandekar, D. 2014. “Preserving Traditional Healing: Some Political Questions”. Economic and Political Weekly 49 (43-44) pp. 19-22

Dandekar, D. and A. 2011. “The Satvai and Settlement Pattern in Rural Western Maharashtra”. South Asian Studies 27:221-224.

Book Chapters

Dandekar, D. 2022. “An Ethnographic Exploration of Muharram(s) in Pune, Maharashtra”, In Pushkar Sohoni and Torsten Tschacher eds. Non-Shia Practices of Muharram in South Asia and the Diaspora: Beyond Mourning. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 24-40.

Dandekar, D. 2021. “Childbirth in Transit: Motherhood and Migration at Taljai, a Slum in Pune", in Childbirth in South Asia: Old Paradoxes and New Challenges, pp. 144-163. Oxford University Press: New Delhi.

Dandekar, D. 2021. “The Role of Memory and Emotions in the Long Migration Journey to Germany”, in Global South Scholars in the Western Academy: Harnessing Unique Experiences, Knowledges, and Positionality in the Third Space. Edited by S. Marin and D. Dandekar, Routledge.

Dandekar, D. 2020. “A genealogy of Muslim feminism in Maharashtra: systems and violence”, in Gender and Violence in Historical and Contemporary Perspective: Situating India. Edited by J. Atwal and I. Flessenkaemper, pp. 153-168. Routledge: London.

Dandekar, D. 2020. “Muslim-Marathi pilgrimage: the Sufi-shrine of Visalgadh”, in Ritual Journeys in South Asia: Constellations and Contestations of Mobility and Space. Edited by C. Bergman and J. Schaflechner, pp. 181-196. Routledge: London

Dandekar, D. 2020. “Seven Sufi brothers: dargah vernacular narratives and Konkani Sufi-Muslims”, in Spaces and Places in Western India: Formations and Delineations. Edited by B. Sengar and L.H. McMillin, pp. 161-180. Routledge: London.

Dandekar, D. 2020. “Women’s ritually shared bodies and food-penance in rural Maharashtra”, in Food, Faith and Gender in South Asia: The Cultural Politics of Women’s Food Practices. Edited by Usha Sanyal and Nita Kumar, pp. 151-170. Bloomsbury Academic: London.

Dandekar, D. 2018. “Refugees in India after 1947”, in Similar but Different: Inclusion and Exclusion of Immigrant Communities Sharing Similar Cultural Backgrounds with Their Host Societies. Edited by A. Bouju & A. Edel (Population Europe Discussion Papers Series No. 8), pp. 61-66. Berlin: Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Sciences.

Dandekar, D. 2017. “Margins or Centre? Konkani Sufis, India and "Arabastan", in Area Studies at the Crossroads: Knowledge Production after the Mobility Turn. Edited by K. Mielke and A.K. Hornidge, pp. 141-156. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dandekar, D. 2016. “Abdul Kader Mukadam: Political Opinions and a Genealogy of Marathi Intellectual and Muslim Progressivism”, in Islam, Sufism and Everyday Politics of Belonging in South Asia. Edited by D. Dandekar and T. Tschacher, pp. 177-195. London: Routledge.

Dandekar, D. 2016. “The Baaravi Ritual, Clan and Ancestor Worship”, in Childbirth and its Accompanying Rituals. Edited by Gabriele Alex and Karin Polit. Pp. 128-143. Heidelberg: Draupadi Verlag.

Dandekar, D. 2015. “Women’s Śakti and the Satvāī, a Folk Goddess of Childbirth in Maharashtra”, in Sakti in Indian Archaeology, Art, Literature and Philosophy. Edited by K.S. Rege, S.A. Pandit, S. Jeswani and R. Sabnis, pp. 179-188. New Delhi: Agam Kala Prakashan

Dandekar, D. 2009. “Satvai and the Lives of Women in Ghodegaon”, in Liebe, Sexualität, Ehe und Partnerschaft - Paradigmen im Wandel. Edited by M. R. Roswitha Badry, Karin Steiner, pp. 281-292. Freiburg: Fördergemeinschaft wissenschaftlicher Publikationen von Frauen.

Encyclopedia Entries

(Forthcoming in 2022/ 2023) Dandekar, D. “Emotionen und Erinnerung (Migration through Memories and Emotions)”, In Berlinghoff, M., Glorius, B., Kleist O., Scharrer, T., eds. Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung: Handbuch für Wissenschaft und Studium. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag. 

Dandekar, D. (2021) "Baba Padmanji". Oxford Bibliographies Online, In Hinduism. Doi: 10.1093/obo/9780195399318-0244

Dandekar D. (2018) “Women, Overview” (, "Village Religion" (, "Sati (Suttee)" (, "Sacrifice (Village)" (, and "Shamanism" (, In Jain P., Sherma R., Khanna M. eds. Hinduism and Tribal Religions. Encyclopedia of Indian Religions. Springer, Dordrecht. 

Dandekar, D. (2018). “Caste” (pp. 321-324), “Devadasis” (pp. 326-328), “Household Shrines” (pp. 343-345), “Ideals of Womanhood” (pp. 345-348), in Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture across History. Edited by S. Gaia, pp. 321-324. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO