Alberta Ferrario, Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow & Lecturer in Religious Studies

302 Steiner Hall
1120 Park Street
Grinnell, IA 50112
United States

Alberta Ferrario


Alberta Ferrario is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Religious Studies at Grinnell College. She received her Ph.D. in South Asian Religions from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015. Her main area of research interest concerns the medieval tantric, or “esoteric,” Hindu traditions. In her book manuscript, “Grace in Degrees: Śaktipāta, Devotion, and Religious Authority in the Śaivism of Abhinavagupta,” she analyzes conceptions of grace and devotion in the oeuvre of the Kashmiri polymath Abhinavagupta (fl. ca. 1000 ce), and in the broader context of his tradition, Tantric Śaivism. Additional areas of interest, and teaching experience, include the history of Yoga, Indian philosophy, Buddhism in South Asia, and religion and gender. In her classes she engages students via a combination of lectures, in-class discussion, visual materials, peer presentations, and online forums. She is a recipient of the Dean’s Teaching Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students at the University of Pennsylvania. Besides work, she enjoys traveling, especially to Italy where she grew up and where part of her family resides.

Education and Degrees

B.A. and M.A. (Laurea) in Political Science and International Affairs, University of Milan, Italy

M.A. in Comparative and International Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Ph.D. in Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania

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