Associate Professor in the  Department of Religion, affiliated member of the Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies Program. I have an MA in Anthropology from Columbia University and a BA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Before joining the faculty at Wesleyan, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Religious Diversity at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Goettingen, Germany.

My research focuses on post-Soviet religious practice in Buryatia, indigenous urban shamanism, New Age neo-shamanism, secularism and ritual.  I am currently working on a book about post-Soviet shamanism in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia.

If you have come to my page because my students are visiting your religious organization, I thank you in advance for your time and patience with them. I firmly believe that no one can study religion without engaging with people who practice religion, so I encourage my students to do fieldwork. I try my best to teach them to be respectful. If you have any concerns, please contact me at

Selected Classes

REL216: Secularism

REL239: Modern Shamanism: Ancestors and Ecstasy in the New Age

REL299: National Religions and Political Rituals


REL395: Anthropology of Religion