Yale University

Research Topic

Immersion and Acculturation: Enslaved People’s Religious Practices in the Household


Pratima Gopalakrishnan is a Ph.D. candidate in Religious Studies at Yale University, and a postdoctoral Fellow at the Katz Center in Spring 2020. Her work focuses on ca. first-millennium C.E. Near Eastern religion and history. Broadly speaking, Gopalakrishnan’s research concerns how textual depictions of lived social and economic realities reveal the practice of everyday life in the household as filled with contingencies. Her dissertation, “Domestic Labor and Marital Obligations in the Ancient Jewish Household” considers the productive and reproductive labors performed by free women and enslaved persons in the household, and shows how concepts of work, wage, and productive potential reshape household obligations. Her research at the Katz Center concerns the everyday religious practices of enslaved persons, and reads the enslaved body as a site of both economic and cultural capital. Originally hailing from New Delhi, Gopalakrishnan received her B.A. in Religious Studies and Economics at the University of Virginia, and her M.A. in Jewish Studies from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati).



Devoted to the home, and seeking to advance research that will shed light on this most formative and intimate of contexts for Jewish life.