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Khyati Tripathi is a psychologist and anthropologist from India and, through her work, she tries to bring together events, emotions and practises related to death to explore the psychosocial significance and intricate connections between them. She is interested in exploring the ‘sacred’ in death and the pure and impure aspects of it. Her work is based at the intersection of social anthropology, psychology, and psychoanalysis.

She completed her PhD from the Department of Psychology, University of Delhi, India and was awarded the Commonwealth Split-Site scholarship (2016-17) to spend a year of her PhD in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. After completing her B.A (H) and M.A in Psychology from the University of Delhi, she completed an M.Phil. in Social Anthropology and then went on to pursue her PhD with an interdisciplinary focus. She was awarded the Junior Research Fellowship by the University Grants Commission in India. She was contemporaneously selected for another Junior Research Fellowship by the Indian Council of Medical Research which she could not avail of because of simultaneous selection for two fellowships. Her PhD project focused on the cultural construction of the dead in Hinduism and Judaism through culture-specific death rituals and mortuary techniques.

 She has been a death scholar for twelve years and is also the ASDS (Association for the Study of Death and Societies, UK) Ambassador for India. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the School of Liberal Studies at UPES University, Dehradun, India. She is also the Book Review Editor for H-Death, a part of H-NET (Humanities and Social Sciences Online, which is an independent, non-profit scholarly association) and on the Editorial Board for the Taylor and Francis journal Mortality.

 She was interviewed by The Death Studies Podcast, UK in 2021 and for a Wellcome Trust (UK) funded podcast series, “Down to a sunless sea: memories of my dad” in 2020 on studying death. In 2020, she was invited as an expert on a BBC World Service special on ‘Digital Death’ to present her perspective on the changing death rituals in pandemic times. In 2017, she was also selected as one of the fifty Commonwealth and Chevening scholars in the UK to participate in the ‘Emerging International Leaders’ Programme’ on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), funded by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

 Read our Q&A with Khyati