University of Calgary

Elizabeth Rohlman

  • Associate Professor
  • +1 (403) 220-3287
  • +1 (403) 210-9191 (Fax)

Areas of Research

My research considers the role of narrative literature in articulating and constructing religious identity in pre-modern South Asia. Current research projects address Hindu narrative literature, especially the puranas; regional Sanskrit and regionally produced Sanskrit literature; religious geography; and Saiva and Vaisnava traditions of medieval Gujarat. This work is currently being pursued under the auspices of a SSHRC Insight Grant entitled, "Textual Processes: Narrative Design, Communal Identity, and Authorship in the Inter-textual Dialectics of the Sanskrit Puranas." 

The end result of my SSHRC project is a monograph, currently in preparation, entitled Telling the Stories of Geography: Compositional PRocess, Narrative Design, and Communal Identity in the Sarasvati Purana. The monograph examines the Sarasvati Purana, a regional Sanskrit text composed in the western Indian region of Gujarat between the 12th and 15th centuries. The book explores the evolution of the text over the course of several centuries, which resulted in two distinct and theologically opposed recensions. Focusing on the intertetual, the book seeks insight into the compositional processes through which the Sarasvati Purana manufactured its own textual and religious authority. 

Future research projects include a literary study of the Markandeya Purana and an exporation of the traditions of jati (or “caste”) puranas and kula-devis (family or “clan” goddesses) in pre-modern Gujarat.

Additional areas of interest include literature of South Asia, popular practices of contemporary Hinduism, manuscriptology, and colonial Indology.

Curriculum Vitae


  • PhD - Religious Studies
    University of Virginia, 2007
  • MA - Religious Studies
    University of Virginia, 1999
  • BA - Philosophy
    University of Dayton, 1997
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