Sierra Lawson

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2019

Sierra is from Wyoming and completed her B.A. in anthropology, religious studies, and Spanish at The University of Alabama and, in 2019, successfully completed the M.A. in Religious Studies, also at UA. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is based in the Religion and Culture track with a focus on social theory. In her studies, Sierra analyzes the discourses that narrate apparitions of the Virgin Mary with specific interests in the history of the Iberian peninsula and colonial Latin America. She also provides service to professional organizations in her field in the form of website management and digital curation.

Visit her website here.

Keeley McMurray

M.A. (Religious Studies)

Graduation Year: 2020

From Huntsville, AL, Keeley McMurray graduated from the University of Alabama in 2018 with a BA in Religious Studies and English and a minor in Theater.  She is primarily interested in how “religion” and its orbiting discourses can be studied as rhetoric, deployed as a tool used to organize and reproduce a specific social world.  Specifically, she is curious as to how this rhetoric functions in American politics and law, as a necessary feature that works to negotiate similarity and difference by creating governable individuals.  When she’s not lost in quiet contemplation, Keeley enjoys animals, live music, and a lot of laughing.  She hopes to be a lifelong learner, teacher and friend to all.

In 2018-19 Keeley held the prestigious National Alumni Association Graduate Fellowship and, in 2019-20, Keeley was the inaugural holder of the American Examples Graduate Research Assistantship, funding by the Luce Foundation.

After successfully defending her thesis and completing her M.A. degree, Keeley will pursue her Ph.D. at Florida State University.