Meet the Young Scholars in American Religion 2014-2016
Congratulations to the following scholars who have been chosen to participate in the 2014-2016 series of Young Scholars in American Religion seminars. These twelve scholars, along with seminar leaders Laurie Maffly-Kipp and Douglas Winiarski, will meet in Indianapolis on four occasions: September 17-21, 2014; April 15-19, 2015; October 14-18, 2015; and April 13-17, 2016.
Kate Bowler is Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity in the United States at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. She received her Ph.D. from Duke University and her M.A.R. from Yale Divinity. Her book, Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel (Oxford, 2013), was the first broad history of how millions of American Christians came to embrace a theological message of health, wealth, and victory over their circumstances. She hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she and her husband, their very soft dog and their new baby, spend their summers.
Heath W. Carter is an assistant professor at Valparaiso University, where he teaches a variety of courses on the history of the modern United States. Some of his recent offerings include Religion in American History, American Utopias, US: Empire for Liberty?, and History of Chicago. Carter’s research explores the complicated relationship between Christianity and capitalism in the Gilded Age. His first book, entitled Union Made: Working People and the Rise of Social Christianity in Chicago, recovers the working-class origins of the American Social Gospel. It will be published by Oxford University Press in 2015. He is also a co-editor of two other volumes. The first of these, entitled Between the Pew and the Picket Line: Christianity and the Working Class in the Industrial United States, is under contract with the University of Illinois Press; the second, Turning Points in the History of American Evangelicalism, will be published by Eerdmans.
Kathryn Gin Lum is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies in collaboration with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University. She is also an affiliate of History (by courtesy) and Asian American Studies. She specializes in American religious history and teaches courses on religion and race, religion and war, Asian American religions, and the afterlife, evil, and death in America. Her first book, Damned Nation: Hell in America from the Revolution to Reconstruction (Oxford University Press 2014), asks how the shifting categories of “saved” and “damned” influenced Americans’ perceptions of themselves and the rest of the world. Her current project, Technologies of Conversion in Nineteenth-Century America, examines the concept of the “heathen” and its connections to ideas about technological progress and stagnation. Gin Lum received her Ph.D. in History from Yale and her B.A. in History from Stanford.
Joshua Guthman is a historian with interests in religion, emotional experience, and music. He is completing revisions on his book, American Primitives: Primitive Baptists & American Culture, which will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2015. His work has appeared in the Religion and American Culture and Southern Cultures, where he also served as music editor from 2006 to 2009. Since 2009, he has been an assistant professor of history at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky where he teaches courses on writing, religion, and American cultural history.
Brett Hendrickson is an assistant professor in the Religious Studies department at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses on Latino/a religion, the religious history of the Americas, religion and healing, and religion in public life. His first book, Border Medicine: A Transcultural History of Mexican American Curanderismo, is forthcoming in 2014 from New York University Press. Hendrickson’s current research examines the history and contemporary devotional life of the Santuario de Chimayó, a famous site of healing and Catholic pilgrimage in northern New Mexico. He is also interested in the dynamics of religious exchange and appropriation as well as metaphysical religious history.
Lerone A. Martin will be the assistant professor of religion and politics in the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in Saint Louis beginning July 1, 2014. He is a 2013-2014 postdoctoral research fellow at the Danforth Center. He specializes in the history of religion in America, and his research and teaching interests focus on nineteenth and twentieth century religion, race, and media. Martin is the author of Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Making of Modern African American Religion, 1900-1945 (New York University Press, November 2014). He has taught courses at Emory University, Georgia’s Metro State Prison, and Eden Theological Seminary. He currently serves as chair of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Teaching and Learning Committee and is also a member of the steering committee for the AAR Afro-American Religious History Group. He received his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2005 and his Ph.D. from Emory in 2011.
Katherine D. Moran is an assistant professor of American studies at Saint Louis University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on American religion and on the U.S. in the world. She received her Ph.D. in U.S. history from Johns Hopkins University, and specializes in the study of Catholicism in modern U.S. history and culture, within a transnational and imperial perspective. In 2012/13, she was the recipient of a one-year Fulbright Junior Lectureship in Germany, and has received grants from the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame and the Huntington Library. In October 2013, her article “Catholicism and the Making of the U.S. Pacific” appeared in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and she is currently completing a book entitled Imagining God’s Country: Catholicism, Nation, Empire, and the Making of Modern America, 1870-1920.
Angela Tarango is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Trinity University. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, received a M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School and Ph.D. from Duke University in 2009. Her classes at Trinity focus on US Religions, Native American, Latino, and African American traditions, as well as World Christianity. Her first book, Choosing the Jesus Way: American Indian Pentecostals and the Fight for the Indigenous Principle was published by UNC press in 2014. Her broader research focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century Native American religious history, specifically how a variety of Native beliefs and traditions (including Native Christianity) complicate modern Native American religious identity. At the moment she is working on two projects: how casino money is used to preserve/promote modern Native American culture and on a biography of the first Navajo tribal Chairman, Jacob C. Morgan, who was both a Calvinist and Navajo nationalist.
Stephen Taysom is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religion at Cleveland State University. His research focuses broadly on the interaction and exchange between new religious movements and American culture. His first book, Shakers, Mormons, and Religious Worlds: Conflicting Visions, Contested Boundaries (Indiana University Press, 2010) explores Mormon and Shaker boundary maintenance strategies. He is currently researching Mormon exorcism and writing a biography of Joseph Fielding Smith, to be published by the University of Utah Press. He teaches courses in American religious history, African American religion, possession and exorcism in cross-cultural perspective, introduction to the academic study of religion, and theory/method in Comparative Religion. He lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio, with his wife and four children.
T.J. Tomlin is an assistant professor of history at the University of Northern Colorado, where he teaches courses on early America, American religion, and the history of print. His research examines the interplay between religion and popular culture, primarily in the eighteenth century. He is the author of A Divinity for All Persuasions: Almanacs and Early American Religious Life (New York: Oxford, 2014), which investigates the religious significance of early America’s most ubiquitous genre. In contrast to a historiography centered on intra-Protestant competition, this book argues that most early Americans relied on a handful of Protestant “essentials” (the Bible, the afterlife, and a recognizably moral life) rather than denominational specifics to define and organize their religious lives. Tomlin is currently working on a history of chance in early America. Using lotteries, cards, dice, and the casting of lots to decipher God’s will, this study places changing formulations of chance in the context of eighteenth century intellectual, scientific, and religious debates.
David Walker is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Yale University. His work focuses on intersections of religion, settlement policy, industry, popular culture, and tourism in the nineteenth-century American West. Ongoing research projects concern theories of religion, citizenship, and historical progress formed through Gilded Age bureaucracies, land grant disputes, P. T. Barnum’s circuses, and Harry Houdini’s magic shows. Recent publications treat ritual innovations in spiritualism and stage magic, and railroad companies’ influence on popular understandings of Mormonism.
Grace Yukich is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Quinnipiac University. Her research, writing, and teaching explore questions about how immigration is changing the relationship between religion and politics in the United States. Her first book, One Family Under God: Immigration Politics and Progressive Religion in America, was published in 2013 with Oxford University Press. Her work has also appeared in journals like Social Problems, Sociology of Religion, and Mobilization as well as in edited volumes like Sanctuary Practices in International Perspectives. In addition to her more traditional publications, her writing has appeared at The Immanent Frame, a blog on secularism, religion, and the public sphere, where she is a contributing editor. She is also editor-in-chief of Mobilizing Ideas, a blog publishing conversations between social movement scholars and activists. Her current research examines how social change efforts in Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim communities in the U.S. are challenging conventional wisdom about how and why Americans engage in religious activism, particularly exploring how transnational connections shape religious activism. In line with this research, she is developing a course on Religion in South Asia that emphasizes how digital technologies are shaping the transmission of religious culture between South Asian countries and the U.S.