Pratima Gopalakrishnan is a PhD candidate in Religious Studies (Judaic Studies) and Program Coordinator for the Mellon Mays and Edward A. Bouchet Undergraduate Fellowship Programs.
Her research focuses on Near Eastern religion and history from the late antique to the medieval period, with a focus on rabbinic literature produced in late antique Palestine and Babylonia. Her dissertation, “Domestic Labor and Marital Obligations in the Ancient Jewish Household,” shows how enslaved and free women’s domestic labor obligations were regulated and understood through logics of reciprocity, remuneration, and moral obligation. Drawing on rabbinic, Roman and Islamic legal materials as well as medieval documentary sources, it shows how discursive constructions of an ideal division of marital labor both informed and diverged from quotidian realities.
Originally hailing from New Delhi, Pratima obtained her BA in religious studies and economics from the University of Virginia, and her MA in Jewish studies from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati). At Yale, she has worked as Writing Fellow and Team Coordinator at the CTL Graduate Writing Lab. She also currently co-runs the Women in Ancient Studies Forum (WASF) and the Ancient Judaism Workshop. Her research has been supported at Yale by the Dean’s Emerging Scholars research award (2016), the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (Arabic, summer 2018), and the Archaia initiative for the study of antiquity and the premodern world.