Andrea Pinkney

Academic title(s): 

Associate Professor, South Asian Religions

(on sabbatical leave in 2017-2018)

Contact Information
Address: 

3520 University Street, Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2A7, Canada

Phone: 
514-398-7357
Fax number: 
514-398-6665
Email address: 
andrea.pinkney [at] mcgill.ca
Degree(s): 

B.A. (McGill)
Adv. Diploma in Hindi (Banaras Hindu University)
M.A. (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa)
Ph.D. (Columbia University)

Biography: 

I discovered my interests in both religious studies and South Asian civilisation as an undergraduate at McGill in the Faculty of Religious Studies (B.A., Joint Honours). As a Commonwealth scholar, I then pursued postgraduate studies in Hindi language and literature (Banaras Hindu University, Adv. Diploma in Hindi) and in South Asian Religions (M.A., University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Ph.D., Columbia University). I have taught in the United States, India, and Singapore; my research languages are Hindi-Urdu and Sanskrit and I have studied French and Japanese for pleasure.

Courses: 
  • RELG 252 Hinduism & Buddhism 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • RELG 366 Rivers,Religion,&Enviro S-Asia 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • RELG 348 Classical Hinduism 3 CreditsTaught only in alternate years
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • RELG 378 Pilgrim&Relig Tourism in SAsia 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • RELG 388 Introduction to Sikhism 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • RELG 444 Indian Ocean Relig Networks 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • RELG 544 Ethnography as Method in RelSt 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • RELG 547 Special Topics in Hinduism 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

Current research: 

My primary research is on one of the most basic aspects of Hindu ritual: the giving, receiving and distribution of prasāda, a karmically blessed substance “tasted” by divinities and other extraordinary beings. In Hindu South Asia, restrictions on commensality (food sharing) typically reflect hierarchical norms between people; however, these norms may be superseded by unique norms of gift economics in prasāda-exchanges. Combining insights from textual research in Sanskrit literature (Purāṇa, Tantra, Āgama) and ethnographic work among Hindi-speaking pilgrims (at Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath), my monograph, “The Sacred Share: Prasāda and the Hindu Gods”, explores the concept of prasāda in both classical and contemporary terms.

Selected publications: