Samiksa’s Background

Educational Background

  • QHHT (Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique) Level 1 Certification (2016), Quantum Healing Hypnosis Academy
  • Doctoral Studies, Laurier-Waterloo Religious Diversity in North America, Wilfrid Laurier University (2010-2014)
    Dissertation work focused on domestic healing and health traditions (e.g. Āyurveda), amongst Hindu immigrants in Waterloo Region, Canada. Qualitative research based on in-person interviews. Two sets of comprehensive exams focused on Canadian immigration, religious diversity, multiculturalism, history of South Asian medical systems, medical anthropology and sociology of medicine
  • Honours Master of Arts, Religion and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University (2009-2010)
    Coursework papers focused on South Asian religious traditions (e.g. Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism) globally and in Canada
  • Honours Bachelor of Arts, Religion and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University  (2006-2008)
    Coursework in spirituality, psychology, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Bahai’ism, gender studies, ritual studies, food and religion, African American traditions, Native American religions
  • Combinatorics & Optimization, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Waterloo (2002-2004)
    Coursework in mathematics, astronomy, astrophysics, philosophy, world music, basic computer science
  • Royal Conservatory of Music, Practical Piano Grade 10 including music history and theory (1990-2005)
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School, Mississauga, ON (1997-2001)

Teaching Background

Teacher Training

  • Certificate in University Teaching, Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo (Fall 2013)
    Completion of three required courses providing a comprehensive teaching development experience.
  • Foundations in University Teaching for Doctoral Students Certificate, Educational Development, Wilfrid Laurier University (Winter 2012)
    Completion of eight hands-on workshops facilitating the development of skills critical in higher education settings.
  • Fundamentals in University Teaching, Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo (Fall 2011)
    Completion of six teaching workshops, as well as presentation of three micro-teaching sessions. Feedback is provided by micro-teaching facilitators and peers.

Piano Instruction

  • Music Instructor (Piano and keyboard), K-W Keys Music Education Centre, Kitchener, ON (2004-2005)
  • Piano Instructor, Peel Music Academy, Brampton, ON (2000-2002)

Academic Courses

  • Course Instructor: RE255A – The Hindu Tradition, Wilfrid Laurier University (Winter 2014). Click here to see course syllabus: re255-winter-2014-syllabus-final

Teaching Assistantships (Wilfrid Laurier University)

  • RE104: Evil and Its Symbols (Fall 2012)
  • RE104: Evil and Its Symbols, (Fall 2011)
  • RE255: The Hindu Tradition (Fall 2010)
  • RE100b: Religions of the Americas (Winter 2010)
  • RE250: Introduction to Buddhism, (Fall 2009)

Guest Lectures

  • “Peace in Hinduism,” GS340: Religion and Peace, Wilfrid Laurier University (May 16, 2013)
  • “Diversity of Hindus in the Waterloo Region of Canada,” RE101b: Religions of the Americas, Wilfrid Laurier University (March 12, 2013)
  • “Āyurveda as Sustained Argument,” (Skyped session), GMS MA 682: Islamic Medicines and Healing, Boston University (November 29, 2012)
  • “New Religious Movements & South Asian Medical Practices,” SOC262/RS280: Cults and New Religious Movements, University of Waterloo (November 23, 2012)
  • “Sikh Identities, Nationalism and the ‘Recognition Mechanism’ in India and Canada” RE101b: Religions of the Americas, Wilfrid Laurier University (February 16, 2012)
  • “Introduction to Sikhism, and Sikh Nationalism in Canada,” RE255: The Hindu Tradition, Wilfrid Laurier University (November 21, 2011)
  • “Theory and Method for Interpreting Āyurveda among Hindu Immigrants in Canada,” RE207: Studying Religion, Wilfrid Laurier University (November 17, 2011)
  • “Key themes in the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa,” RE 255: The Hindu Tradition, Wilfrid Laurier University (October 17, 2011)
  • “Hindu Nationalism in Diaspora,” RE255: The Hindu Tradition, Wilfrid Laurier University (November 29, 2010)
  • “Sikh Nationalism and Politics of Recognition in Canada,” RE255: The Hindu Tradition, Wilfrid Laurier University (November 22, 2010)
  • “Hindu Texts,” RE307: Reading Religious Texts, Wilfrid Laurier University (November 8, 2010)
  • “Transnational Āyurveda in Canada,” RE255: The Hindu Tradition, Wilfrid Laurier University (October 4, 2010)
  • “Hindu Nationalism Globally and in North America,” RE100b: Religions of the Americas, Wilfrid Laurier University (February 1, 2010)

Public Presentations and Workshops

  • “Workshop on Contemplative Education in Religious Studies” (with Panelists Dr. Meena Sharify-Funk and Shobhana Xavier), Wilfrid Laurier University (May 28, 2013)
  • “Situating Āyurveda among Hindus in Canada: Domestic, Material and Relational Perspectives,” Three-Minute Thesis Competition, Wilfrid Laurier University (March 8, 2013)
  • “Mandir Medical Networks: Situating Āyurveda as a Sustained Argument among Hindu Immigrants in Canada,” American Academy of Religion in Chicago (November 19, 2012)
  • Panel on undergraduate and graduate experiences in religious studies, dissertation projects and writing approaches, RE407: Research Seminar, Wilfrid Laurier University (October 10, 2012)
  • “Interpreting Domestic, Relational and Material Āyurveda among Hindu Immigrants in Canada,” Panel on Religious Diversity and Identity Negotiation in North American Spaces, Canadian Society for the Study of Religion in Waterloo (May 29, 2012)
  • “Interpreting Lived Āyurveda Among Hindu Immigrants in Canada: Domestic, Relational and Material Perspectives,” Panel on Religion and Concepts of Health in Asia, Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference in Toronto (March 16, 2012)
  • “Tools, Tech and Telos: A Workshop on the Use of Technology for Graduate Students in the Humanities,” Religion and Culture Department Colloquium Series, Wilfrid Laurier University (January 27, 2012)
  • “Beyond Tea: Experiences in Guwahati, Assam,” Presentation on Travel and Research Experience, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Graduate Research Day, Wilfrid Laurier University (November 23, 2011)
  • “Place, Relationship, Material, and Diversity: Interpreting Āyurveda among Hindu Immigrants in Waterloo Region, Canada,” University of Toronto Graduate Student Conference on South Asian Religions (September 23, 2011)
  • “Substituting for Religion in Tweed‘s Theory of Religion: Āyurveda and the Academic Study of Hinduism(s) in Canada as Case Study,” Panel on Religion and Theory, Canadian Society for the Study of Religion in Fredericton (May 29, 2011)
  • “In Crossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion,” Panel on  Geographies of Homogeneity and Difference, Assessing the Complexities of South Asian Migration Conference, Wilfrid Laurier University (May 20, 2011)
  • “Members of Which Sikhism? The Politics of Recognition in Recent Canadian Sikh Debates,” Panel on Racism, The Association for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association Joint Annual Conference in Toronto (November 6, 2010)
  • “Consequences of Hindūtva Nationalism: Fettered Ethno-Religious Pluralism in India and in the Indian Diaspora,” 7th Annual Interdisciplinary Arts Conference, Wilfrid Laurier University (March 27, 2010)

Volunteer & Service Work

  • St. John’s Ambulance Dog Therapy program (2015-present)
  • Communications Liaison and Website Administrator, Canadian Society for the Study of Religion (September 2010-present)
    Launched and regularly maintain new CSSR website (www.cssrscer.ca). Facilitate communication between society Executive and members through networking technology
  • Graduate Student Steering Committee Member, “Religions, Medicine and Healing Group” in the American Academy of Religion (November 2012-November 2014)
    Helped steering committee members select appropriate academic papers and themes for annual conference sessions
  • Graduate Student Representative, Joint PhD Committee for Religious Diversity in North America, Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo (October 2011-August 2014)
  • Local Area Coordinator, Canadian Society for the Study of Religion (May 2011-May 2012)
    Worked with CSSR Executive to plan for Congress 2012 conference in Waterloo
  • Faculty Councillor, Graduate Students’ Association, Wilfrid Laurier University (September 2010-May 2011)
  • Editor & Copywriter, Kitchener-Waterloo Arts Awards Committee, Kitchener, ON (May 2008-Aug 2009)
    Wrote and edited program and emcee script for the 20th and 21st annual K-W Arts Awards as guided by Committee Chairs. Assisted Chair and Chief Administrator by assembling and organizing all confidential files for KWAA winners, nominees and award details
  • Research Assistant for Board Member, The New Quarterly: Canadian Writers & Writing, Waterloo (May-July 2008)
    Compiled research for published article on Kitchener-Waterloo Book Clubs
  • Vice-President of Religion & Culture Society, Wilfrid Laurier University (September 2007-April 2008)
    Planned and organized networking and educational events (e.g. field trips to diverse places of worship) with other campus organizations to promote society and conference activities. Coordinated 6th Annual Interdisciplinary Arts Conference, working alongside team members to manage keynote speakers, student presenters and faculty groups

Select Awards & Grants

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship (2012-2014)
  • “Researcher of Laurier,” Graduate Students’ Association initiative (March 2013)
  • Awards of Distinction 2012 Recipient (Bank of Montreal Financial Group Graduate Student Scholarship, Wilfrid Laurier University)
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), Wilfrid Laurier University (2011-2012)
  • First Prize, Canadian Society for the Study of Religion National Graduate Student Essay Contest (2011)
  • Travel and Research Award, Wilfrid Laurier University (May 2011)
  • George P. Grant Memorial Award, Wilfrid Laurier University (Fall 2010); Alumni Gold Medal for academic excellence in the Faculty of Arts, M.A. Convocation, Wilfrid Laurier University (October 2010)
  • Gotthard Booth Bursary, Wilfrid Laurier University (Winter 2010)
  • Alumni Gold Medal for academic excellence in the Faculty of Arts, B.A. Convocation, Wilfrid Laurier University (June 2008)
  • Sally Jefferson Award in Religion and Culture: Outstanding Senior Undergraduate Student Award, Wilfrid Laurier University (Winter 2008)
  • Sally Jefferson Award in Religion and Culture: Best Essay in an Undergraduate Religion and Culture Course, Wilfrid Laurier University (Winter 2008)

Languages

Farsi is my mother tongue, and my parents spoke Azeri Turkish at home, but I am very rusty with these languages because I grew up in Canada and didn’t have many Persian friends. I had the honour of studying Classical Sanskrit through McMaster University in 2011-2012, as well as at my local Hindu temple for a number of years. I love Sanskrit the best, I have reading comprehension in French, but I use English in everyday life. These days I am fully immersed in learning to read, write and and speak Korean.

Publications

  • Munro, Yasaman Samīkṣā. “The Lateralization Method and Thomas Tweed’s Theory of Religion: Āyurveda and Hindu Migrants as Case Study. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies 17/2 (published Spring 2014)
  • Desjardins, Michel and Yasaman Samīkṣā Munro. “Roundtable on Pedagogy — Response: A Conversation on Renunciation in Pedagogy.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 82/1: 1-10 (2014)
  • Munro, Yasaman S. “Nuancing the Qual-Quan Divide: The Vitality of Research Methods in the Academic Study of Religion.” In The Religious Studies Project. Retrieved July 4, 2012, from http://goo.gl/WB3Lz.
  • Munro, Yasaman S. Book Review of Religious Experience Reconsidered: A Building-Block Approach to the Study of Religion and Other Special Things by Anne Taves (Princeton, NJ, and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2009. xvi + 212 pp.), in Studies in Religion 41/1: 131-133 (2012)
  • Munro, Yasaman S. Book Review of Desi Land: Teen Culture, Class, and Success in Silicon Valley by Shalini Shankar (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2008), in Contemporary South Asia 19/4: 475-476 (2011)
  • Munro, Yasaman S. Book Review of Dharma by Alf Hiltebeitel (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2010), in Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses 40/2: 244-245 (2011)
  • Munro, Yasaman S. Book Review of Rethinking Hindu Identity by D.N. Jha (London and Oakville: Equinox Publishing, 2009), in Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses 40/2: 247-249 (2011)
  • Munro, Yasaman S. “Members of Which Sikhism? The Politics of Recognition in Recent Canadian Sikh Debates.” Over Dinner: The Laurier M.A. Journal of Religion and Culture (Jason W.M. Ellsworth and Yasaman S. Munro, eds.) Volume 2 (2009-2010 R&C M.A. Cohort). Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press (2010)
  • Scott, Susan with Yasaman Shayangogani (Munro). “Simply Wine and Pretzels—The Lure, The Lore, the Lists: On the Culture of Book Clubs ” The New Quarterly: Canadian Writers and Writing (The Salon Des Refusés, Issue 107), 183-190 (2008)