Announcing the 2021 American Examples Participants

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The Department of Religious Studies is so happy to announce the participants in the 2021 American Examples program. This will be the third year of the program’s history and the second year the program has been funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. This year’s program will be hosted virtually, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the virtual format, a record number of applications, and a strong applicant pool, we have expanded the program from 9 to 12 participants. We are so excited to see American Examples continue to mentor early-career scholars in research, teaching, and public humanities. Learn more about each of our 2021 participants below:

Michael Baysa

Michael Baysa is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Religion (Religion in the Americas) at Princeton University. His dissertation explores publication controversies around printing religious texts in eighteenth-century colonial America. By tracing manuscript circulation and charting their material histories, his project interrogates the various ways ministers, printers, and authors curated which texts made it to print. This research addresses broader questions about the persistent presence of and transformation of religious discourse within a presumably post-Puritan Enlightenment period. Outside of his project, his research interests include the intersections of American religious history with capitalism, politics, and literary history. Prior to coming to Princeton in 2017, Michael completed degrees at Boston University (S.T.M), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Boston University (B.S. in Business Administration). While pursuing his master degrees, he also worked as a paralegal for Fidelity Investments.

Christopher Bishop

Christopher Bishop is a Visiting Instructor of History at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, where he teaches both sections of the US History survey. He holds a PhD in American History from Auburn University (2018) and is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Methodism, the Middle Class, and the Making of the New South, 1866-1894.

Brooke Kathleen Brassard

Brooke Kathleen Brassard is a sessional Instructor at the University of Waterloo and McMaster University. She holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Her research interests include new religious movements, the history of religion in Canada, and visual and material culture. She is currently revising her book manuscript, based on her dissertation, about Latter-day Saints in Canada and how they construct, communicate, and negotiate their religious and national identities using material culture, politics, business, gender roles, and familial relationships.

Jaimie D. Crumley

Jaimie D. Crumley (she, her, hers) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Gender Studies at UCLA. She earned her Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology degrees at Yale Divinity School and her Bachelor of Arts degree at Wellesley College. Jaimie’s dissertation, “Tried as by Fire,” is a black feminist intellectual history of the late-eighteenth and nineteenth-century Black Christian women’s lives and theology. It will focus on the women who preached, gave theological speeches, and wrote abolitionist pamphlets and spiritual autobiographies. These women demanded an end to chattel slavery, racism, and sexism. Jaimie is a member of the National Women’s Studies Association, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the American Studies Association, and the Western Association of Women’s Historians. She is also one of the graduate student coordinators of the Black Feminism Initiative at UCLA.

Chelsea Ebin

Chelsea Ebin is an assistant professor of Politics at Centre College in Danville, KY. Her research and teaching focuses broadly on the intersections of U.S. politics, public law, and religion. Chelsea received her PhD in Politics from the New School for Social Research. Her dissertation examined the convergence of conservative Protestant and Catholic groups during the 1970s and 1980s. She is currently working on a monograph, based on her dissertation, that examines how this Protestant/Catholic coalition was premised on the adoption of prefigurative politics and the manufacturing of discourses of traditionalism. This process, which she terms “prefigurative traditionalism,” can also be applied to more contemporary conservative religious groups, such as Quiverfull. In addition to this work, Chelsea is engaged in an on-going research project on the political ideology of conservative women and is a co-founder of the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism.

Lauren Horn Griffin

Lauren Horn Griffin is a full-time Instructor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama She holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Lauren’s research focuses on the ways in which saints and other authoritative figures in Roman Catholic communities constitute collective memory, serving as tools for the construction and negotiation of national, ethnic, and cultural identity. Her current research focuses on Catholic material culture in digital spaces, specifically how Catholic history is constructed on social media.

Candace Lukasik

Candace Lukasik is a postdoctoral research associate at the John C. Danforth Center at Washington University in St. Louis. She holds a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from University of California, Berkeley. Her first book project explores the transnational circulation of political subjectivities and religious practices through the lens of Coptic Orthodox Christian emigration from Egypt to the United States. Specifically, the project examines the geopolitical processes involved in the transformation of Middle Eastern Christians into modern-day martyrs and victims of Islamic terror by American religious and political actors and investigates the effects those processes have on the Copts in Egypt and in diaspora. For this project, she has received a Religion, Spirituality, and Democratic Renewal Fellowship for 2020-2021, funded by the Social Science Research Council and the Fetzer Institute.

Hinasahar Muneeruddin

Hinasahar Muneeruddin is a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Islamic Studies track of the Religious Studies program and a graduate certificate candidate in Women and Gender Studies. Hina’s research lies at the intersections of Islam(s), gender, race, affect, and performativity within the United States. More specifically, she is interested in the quotidian scenes of gender becoming of Muslims.

Alexander Rocklin

Alexander Rocklin is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Otterbein University. His research is focused on the politics of the category religion in the interactive making of Hinduism, Islam, and Afro-Atlantic religions in the colonial circum-Caribbean. His first book, published in 2019 from the University of North Carolina Press, is called The Regulation of Religion and the Making of Hinduism in Colonial Trinidad. It looks at the role of the category religion in the regulation of the lives of Indian indentured laborers and the production of Hinduism in Trinidad. His current project analyzes the co-production of the categories race and religion in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through a series of case studies of various individuals identifying as “Hindu” in and between the circum-Caribbean region (including the U.S. and Central America) and beyond.

Sean Sidky

Sean Sidky is a PhD Candidate in Religious Studies and Comparative Literature at Indiana University Bloomington, where he specializes in Yiddish and American Jewish literature. His research interests include poetics, catastrophe literature, religion in popular culture, and the reception history of the Holocaust. His dissertation, “No letters arrive anymore: American Yiddish Holocaust literature” examines Yiddish poetry written in response to news of the Holocaust as filtered into the United States.

Joshua Urich

Josh is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He earned his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Unmasked: Feeling Skeptical, Feeling Religious, which explores skepticism as an affective religious formation.

Lucas F. Wilson

Currently teaching and dissertating in his hometown of Toronto, ON, Lucas Wilson is both a PhD candidate in Comparative Studies at Florida Atlantic University and a Dissertation Fellow through The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. He holds an MTS from Vanderbilt University and an MA from McMaster University. Most of Lucas’ research has explored the enduring effects of the Holocaust on North American life and letters, but he also works on evangelicalism’s relationship to the LGBTQ+ community, specifically in the context of Liberty University. His academic work has appeared in Flannery O’Connor Review, as well as in edited collections published by the MLA and SUNY Press. His public-facing work has appeared in QueertyLGBTQ Nation, and RVA Magazine.

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About Michael Altman

Michael J. Altman is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies. Dr. Altman's areas of interest are American religious history, theory and method in the study of religion, the history of comparative religion, and Asian religions in American culture. Overall, his research sits at the crossroads of American religious history and religious studies, using the theoretical insights of religious studies to dig deeper into what we mean by "religion" in religious history. His current research examines cultural constructions of Hinduism in 19th-century America.

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