Dr. Leah Comeau is a scholar of religion in South Asia, Tamil studies, and material religion. Her research is based in a variety of media, spanning from devotional texts to temple inscriptions and from archival sources to material studies of modern devotional practices.
Comeau’s first book, "Material Devotion in a South Indian Poetic World" (2020) contributes new methods for the study and interpretation of material religion found within Tamil literary landscapes. In addition to her sensory-centered monograph, Comeau recently guest edited a special issue of South Asian Studies that addresses the materiality of Hindu temple walls in South India, in relation to epigraphy, murals, and modern signs. In her contribution to this issue, Comeau theorized the visual and affective impact, as well as the devotional value, of layering diverse media and messages over time.
Comeau is currently writing about flower markets and gardens, ephemeral objects in digital realms, Hindu temple aesthetics, and trans-religious objects in Tamil Christian contexts.
What is Religion?
Dr. Comeau will be on leave for the academic year 2023-2024.
B.A., Syracuse University
MDiv, Duke University
M.A., PhD, University of Pennsylvania
"Material Devotion in a South Indian Poetic World." Material Religion Series. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020.