Joanna Smith

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Joanna Sierks Smith

Area of Focus: Religion in the Americas


M.A., UNC-Chapel Hill, 2016
B.A., Connecticut College, 2012

Research Interests

  • New Religious Movements
  • Religion and Law
  • Religion and Literature
  • Religion, Animals, and the Environment

Professional Biography

As a graduate student in the Religion in the Americas track, my background is in 19th and 20th century American religion with a particular focus on New Religious Movements.

My research circles themes of excess and prohibition. With a 2016 master’s thesis on essayist Annie Dillard, I began to hone in on those themes at the intersection of religion, violence, and nature. I’m now working towards a dissertation on modern industrial slaughterhouses as sites of the hidden sacred.