Lakshmi Ramgopal is a writer, musician, and historian based in Chicago, IL. She received her PhD in Classics from the University of Chicago and writes about the occult, ancient history, and South Asian experiences for publications like Jezebel, Chicago Reader, and Broadly. Lakshmi performs ambient electronic music under the moniker Lykanthea and in 2014 she released her debut EP Migration. Its melding of literary motifs, improvisation, and classical South Indian vocal traditions won praise from NoiseyChicago Tribune, Chicago Readerand more. Since then her musical practice has grown to encompass expansive multidisciplinary performances that include sound art, installations, performance art, and dance.

Lakshmi was the recipient of a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome in 2014 and will be a resident artist at ACRE in August 2018. She has been invited to speak or perform at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig's Wave-Gotik Treffen, and Yale University, and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Trinity College. Her current projects include her first book and second album.

Email Lakshmi at and sign up for her TinyLetter some viscera for essays and updates.

Artist CV | Academic CV


"Mobility." In A Cultural History of Western Empires, ed. Carlos Noreña. Bloomsbury UK, 2018 (forthcoming in print).
"One and Many: Associations of Roman Citizens in Greece.” In Social Dynamics under Roman Rule. Mobility and Status Change in the Provinces of Achaia and Macedonia, Proceedings of a Conference Held in Athens, May 30th-31st 2014, MELETEMATA 74, ed. A.D. Rizakis, F. Camia, S. Zoumbaki, 407-425, 2017.

Freelance reporting:
Magic Is for Everyone: Meet Some of the Artists Bringing Racial Diversity to TarotCatapult, August 2017
Revealing the Unwritten Obstacles Faced by Academics of ColorLiterary Hub, May 2017
Brown Girls is the Show About Women, Friendship and Love You've Been Waiting ForJezebel, Feb. 2017
The Ancients Used Hyena's Foot for Childbirth—And Identified Copper As a ContraceptiveAtlas Obscura, Nov. 2016
'Go and Reclaim Your Tools': Meet the Woman Behind Black Witch UniversityBroadly, Oct. 2016
Avant-garde Pioneer Pamela Z Brings her Otherworldly Vocal Manipulations to ConstellationChicago Reader, Sept. 2016
Meet a Master Tarot Card Designer from Milan, Italy, Birthplace of TarotAtlas Obscura, December 2015

UPcoming events

5.6 - musical performance: opening for A Half-Light Chorus. Lincoln Park Conservatory, Chicago, IL. 3pm, free.
5.12 - musical performance: Open Engagement, Knockdown Center. Queens, New York. 9pm. Ticket info.
7.5 - musical performance: Five Lullabies by Lykanthea. Jefferson Park Library, Chicago, IL. 7pm, Free.
7.8* - musical performance: Maalai. For Reinterpreting Religions (group show), Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, IL. 1:30pm, free.
7.15 - musical performance: Emporium Wicker Park, Chicago, IL. 9pm, free.
7.22 - musical performance: closing for A Half-Light Chorus with a multidisciplinary ensemble. Lincoln Park Conservatory, Chicago, IL. 3pm, free.
8.19 - musical performance: TBA, Madison, WI.

*changed from 7.7