Graduate Students

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Graduate Students


Name/Contact Info Prior Degrees Area of Focus Research Interests

Ryne Beddard

B.A., University of Mount Olive
M.A., University of Denver
Religion and Culture Religion, Race, and Environment in the antebellum Great Dismal Swamp and Tidewater region; Religion and Race in the U.S. South; Critical Theory and Ethics

Arpan Bhandari

B.A., UNC-Chapel Hill
M.A., Duke University
Islamic Studies South Asian Sufism, Sufi texts, Sufi Music and Poetry, Intersections of Islam, Historical interactions of Islam

Emily Branton

B.A., Smith College
M.A., University of Chicago
Ancient Mediterranean Religions Hebrew Bible; ancient Near Eastern iconography and literature; metaphor theory; translation

Candace Buckner

B.A., Wesleyan University
Post-Bac, Georgetown University
M.A., University of Minnesota
Ancient Mediterranean Religions Saint’s lives, martyrology, church fathers; Early Christian art & architecture and its representation in literature; the eye & memory in Early Christian thought

Jocelyn Burney

B.A., UNC-Chapel Hill
M.A.R., Yale Divinity School
Ancient Mediterranean Religions Ancient Judaism, Hellenistic and Roman archaeology in the Eastern Mediterranean; diaspora, migration, and identity; Jewish communities in Greece, the Aegean, and Asia Minor; ancient synagogues

Seonghyun Choi

B.A., Seoul Theological University
M.T.S., Vanderbilt Divinity School
M.A.R., Yale Divinity School
Ancient Mediterranean Religions Hebrew Bible; Late Second Temple Judaism; Dead Sea Scrolls; History of Biblical Interpretation; Disability Studies

Samah Choudhury

B.A., University of Michigan
A.M., Harvard University
Islamic Studies Gender and sexuality; Critical race theory; Religion and state structures; Humor; Islam in America; Secularism; Decolonial theory, methods, and pedagogies

Brian A. Coussens

B.A., Georgia Southern University
M.A., Wheaton College
M.A., UNC-Chapel Hill
Ancient Mediterranean Religions Second Temple Judaism; Archaeology of the Second Temple Period; Herodian Architecture; Architecture/Place in Agency and Memory

Israel Dominguez

B.A., University of Texas at Austin
M.A., University of Colorado Boulder
Religion in the Americas U.S.-Mexico borderlands; Decolonization and religion; Non-institutional religious healing; “Folk” traditions; Critical race theory; Queer theory; Intersections of gender, race, and colonization

Luke Drake

B.A., Brigham Young University
M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School
Ancient Mediterranean Religions New Testament, early Christianity, early Judaism

Bo Eberle

B.A., The Ohio State University
M.Div., Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
Religion and Culture Materialisms and Religion; Philosophy of Science and Religion; Post-secular Religious Theory and Analysis; Critical Theory and Political Economy

Isaiah Ellis

B.A., Trinity University
M.A., UNC-Chapel Hill
Religion and Culture Religion in the Americas; Urban and small-town history; Philosophies of space and time; Assemblages and networks

Bradley C. Erickson

B.A., Centre College
M.Div., Duke Divinity School
Ancient Mediterranean Religions Syro-Palestinian Archaeology, Second Temple Judaism, Early Christianity, relationship between material culture and religious text

Alejandro S. Escalante

B.A., Trinity College
M.Div., Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
Religion in the Americas Gender and sexuality studies; Caribbean Christianities; African-inspired religious festivals; Critical race theory; Latin-American liberation theologies

Yasmine Flodin-Ali

B.A., University of Wisconsin Madison
M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School
Islamic Studies race and racialization, gender and sexuality, Islam in America, Islamic modernism, Islamic revival movements

Becca Henriksen

B.A., Biola University
B.S., Biola University
M.A.R., Yale Divinity School
M.A., Brown University
Religion and Culture gender, sexuality, queer & trans theory; ethnography of global christianities; material and visual culture & performance studies

Micah A. Hughes

B.I.S., Georgia State University
M.A., Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif University, Istanbul
Islamic Studies Late Ottoman Empire; Turkey; Transnational philosophical discourses (Bergsonism, Positivism); Translation; Sufism and mysticism; Religious reform & education in the Middle East; Secularism

Nathan Jumper

B.S./B.A. (dual bachelor’s degree), Cairn University
M.M. (dual master’s degree), Temple University
M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary
Religion and Culture Philosophy of technology; Materialism and mind; Psychotropic drugs and experience; Parapsychosomatic practices; Gender and sexuality; Pornography studies

Sierra Lawson

B.A., The University of Alabama
M.A., The University of Alabama
Religion and Culture History of Iberian Peninsula, Colonial Latin America, Social Theory, Marian Apparitions, Digital Humanities, Identity Formation

Matthew B. Lynch

B.A., Marlboro College
M.A., University of Chicago
Islamic Studies Medieval Muslim Mysticism; Critical Issues in Islamic Studies; Persian Literature; Hermeneutics and Aesthetics

Katherine Merriman

B.A., Vassar College
M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School
Islamic Studies contemporary expressions of Islam in America; urban ethnography; race and religion; social networks and the formation of community

John Miller

B.A., UNC-Chapel Hill
J.D., UNC School of Law
Islamic Studies Qur’anic Hermeneutics; Liberal Islamic Thought; Rationalism in Islam; Classical and Contemporary Shi`i Thought; Philosophy of Law

Candace Mixon

B.A., Vanderbilt University
M.A., McGill University
Islamic Studies Islam in Post-Revolutionary Iran; Material and Visual Culture Studies; Persian, Iranian, and Central Asian History, including Linguistic; Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Communities; Categorizations of Islam, Muslims, the Persianate, and Religion

Alejandro Hermes Moreiras Villarós

B.A., Hampshire College
Five College Certificate in M.E. Studies
M.A., Hebrew University of Jerusalem
M.T.S., McGill University
Religion and Culture Marrano and Morisco culture and history, Spain, Israel, Middle East politics and international affairs, ethnography, anthropology, critical theory, origins and new beginnings, politics of religion, history of religion, ghosts, Abrahamic religions, frontiers

Hinasahar Muneeruddin

B.A., Northwestern University
M.A., Columbia University in the City of New York
Islamic Studies intersections of Islam, race, gender, Muslim feminism(s), and subjectivity

Helen M. Orr

B.A., Trinity University
M.T.S., Harvard University
Religion and Culture Religion and trauma studies; post-Holocaust theology; phenomenological anthropology; Balkan studies

Tine Rassalle

B.A., Gent University
M.A., Gent University
B.A., Leiden University
Ancient Mediterranean Religions Archaeology of the Ancient Near East; Ancient Israelite Religion; Early Christianity and Judaism and its Material Culture; Museum Studies and Heritage Management

Kenny Richards

B.A., College of Charleston
M.A., University of Colorado, Boulder
Religion and Culture religious freedom in the United States; American Indian religious traditions

Nathan Schradle

B.A., Occidental College
M.A., New York University
Religion and Culture Religion and Media, Religion and Technology/New Media, Critical Theory and Religion

Michelle Sdao

B.A., The Ohio State University Ancient Mediterranean Religions Martyrdom, Heresiology, Saint Cults, Ancient and Late Ancient Christianity

Ehsan Sheikholharam

MArch, University of Miami Islamic Studies Ideology and the Religiosity of Non-religious Architecture; Symptoms and the Problem of Surface (bodies and buildings), Margins and the Formation of Contested Identities, Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Ben Sheppard

A.B., University of Georgia
M.A., University of Chicago
Ancient Mediterranean Religions Christian organization and structures of authority in 1st & 2nd centuries; the Pauline network and its development; space and territoriality in Ignatius of Antioch; consequences of mobility in early Christian communities; production of culture; study of religion as social practice

Joanna Sierks Smith

B.A., Connecticut College
M.A., UNC-Chapel Hill
Religion in the Americas New Religious Movements; Religion and Law; Religion and Literature; Religion, Animals, and the Environment

Timothy Smith

B.A., Ursinus College
M.A., Sophia University (上智大学)
Religions of Asia Japanese New Religions, interactions between religion and the state, religion as a form of resistance and as a means of control, folk traditions, Japanese mythology, Shinto and Buddhist combinative movements

Barbara Sostaita

B.A., Salem College
M.A.R., Yale Divinity School
Religion in the Americas Transnational migration; Mexico-U.S. borderlands; Latinx migrant faith practices and communities; Social movements in the Americas

Miguel M. Vargas

B.A., University of North Texas
M.A., University of North Texas
Ancient Mediterranean Religions Hellenistic Judaism, Jewish Marginalization in the Hellenistic Diaspora, Second Temple Judaism, Early Christianity

Brook Wilensky-Lanford

B.A., Wesleyan University
M.F.A., Columbia University
Religion in the Americas 19th and 20th century new religious movements, religious liberalism, religion and literature, utopias

Jay Yeo

B.A., Colgate University Islamic Studies Qur’an recitation; ethnographic approaches to Religious Studies; Sound Studies and theory; Performance Studies and theory; Kurdish Studies; socio-linguistics; sound and/in space; the ear and voice; gendered voicings