Nick Tackes
Religion Department, Columbia University


I am an ethnographer of healing and religion in South Asia. My dissertation project is an investigation of care products, a term I use to describe a subset of goods, services, and service projects offered by two Hindu institutions in Mathura, India. My research will determine for which reasons, by which means, and in which ways Indians incorporate these care products into their lives. To this end, I work between Religion and Medical Anthropology.


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PhD Candidate Religion Columbia University (anticipated) 2023
MPhil Religion Columbia University 2019
MA Religion Columbia University 2016
BA Religion,
Great Ideas
Carthage College 2013


English Hindi Sanskrit (reading)

Competitive Scholarships and Honors

2020 Certificate of the Southern Asian Institute (Columbia University)
2018 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award
AIIS Junior Research Fellowship (declined)
2017 AIIS Language Fellowship: Hindi
Summer FLAS Fellowship: Hindi
2016 Summer FLAS Fellowship: Hindi
2015 Academic Year FLAS Fellowship: Hindi
2014 Academic Year FLAS Fellowship: Hindi
2013 Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship (ETA): New Delhi, India

Conferences and Invited Talks

  • “Energy and Vibrations: The Logic of Transformation in the Gayatri Pariwar and the Brahma Kumaris,” Public Health Workshop, Jalaharwal Nehru University, New Delhi, March 12, 2020.
  • “Zooming in on Mozoomdar: A Microhistory of Brahmo Belief,” Religion in South Asia Section, American Academy of Religion, Denver, November 18, 2018.
  • Chair/Discussant, “Yoga and Politics: South Asia and Beyond,” Madison South Asia Conference, October 12, 2018.
  • “The Creation of a Mahatma: Creative License in Ratnadeep Pictures’ Tulsidas (1954),” Madison South Asia Conference, October 23, 2015.


Professional Memberships

  • American Academy of Religion (AAR)
  • International Exchange Alumni

Teaching and Academic Service

  • Lead Teaching Fellow (Center for Teaching and Learning, Columbia University, 2020-2021)
  • Teaching Assistant (Columbia University, 2018-2019)
    • “Introduction to Judaism” (Beth Berkowitz, Religion)
    • “Millenium: Apocalypse and Utopia” (Elizabeth Castelli, Religion)
    • “East Asian Buddhism” (Michael Como, Religion)
    • “Hinduism” (Jack Hawley, Religion)
  • Research Assistant (Columbia University, 2018)
    • History of Diagnosing Cognitive Decline (Kavita Sivaramakrishnan, History)
  • Graduate Mentor (Columbia University, 2018)
    • Laidlaw Scholarship Program


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