Doctoral Assistant (2022–2025) 





Alisha Saikia is a Doctoral Assistant (2022–2025) in Religious Studies, funded through a scholarship of the Vienna Doctoral School of Theology and Research on Religion (VDTR). She holds a B.A. in Sociology (2010), an M.A. in East Asian Studies (2012), and an M.Phil. in Japanese Studies (2014), all from the University of Delhi, India. She also holds an M.A. in Religious Studies (2018) from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, where she was a Monbukagakushō Fellow. Her research in Japan focused on Japanese religion and popular culture (Kyara in Japanese Religious Spaces) where she looked at the embeddedness of kyara or mascots in certain religious spaces in Japan and the impact on the practice of religion in those spaces. Her current research project is on studying dolls from a Religious Studies perspective where she explores the field of doll collecting and doll making as alternative means of meditation, healing, and spirituality. Apart from being an avid doll collector herself, she also enjoys traveling, singing, cooking, and dabbling in slam poetry.