Recent Ph.D. Graduates

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Recent Ph.D. Graduates

Name/Contact Info Graduation Date Prior Degrees Area of Focus Research Interests
Miguel M. Vargas 2022 History M.A, University of North Texas – Ancient History, Classical Rhetoric
History B.A., University of North Texas – Jewish Studies
Ancient Mediterranean Religions Second Temple and Hellenistic Judaism, Greek and Roman Religions, Race in Antiquity, Ptolemaic Egypt
Isaiah Ellis 2022 M.A. Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.A. Magna cum Laude, Religion, urban studies, Trinity University.
Religion and Culture Religion in the Americas, Race and empire, Networks and infrastructure, Material and visual culture, U.S. urban and cultural history, Southern studies
Joanna Sierks Smith 2021 BA, Religious Studies, Connecticut College
MA, Religious Studies, UNC Chapel Hill
Religion in the Americas American Religious History; Religion and the Environment; Animals and Animality; Religious Foodways; Religion and Literature
Katherine Merriman 2021 B.A., Vassar College
M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School
Islamic Studies Contemporary Islam; Race & religion; Anthropology of religion; Charitable giving in American Muslim communities at the intersection of race, class and moral subjectivities; Ethical debates on social welfare and justice in Islam
Micah A. Hughes 2021 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
Alejandro S. Escalante 2021 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
Barbara Sostaita 2021 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
Brook Wilensky-Lanford 2021 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
Samah Choudhury 2020 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
Candace Buckner 2020 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
Bradley C. Erickson 2020 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

Candace Mixon

2019 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

Helen M. Orr

2019 B.A., Trinity University
M.T.S., Harvard University
Religion and Culture Religion and trauma studies; post-Holocaust theology; phenomenological anthropology; Balkan studies

Matthew B. Lynch

2018 B.A., Marlboro College
M.A., University of Chicago
Islamic Studies Medieval Muslim Mysticism; Critical Issues in Islamic Studies; Persian Literature; Hermeneutics and Aesthetics

Patrick D’Silva

2018 B.A., Macalester College
M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School
Islamic Studies Islam in South Asia; Sufism; Yoga; Mysticism; Post-colonial theory; Translation theory

Shannon Trosper Schorey

2018 B.A., Northern Arizona University
M.A., University of Colorado, Boulder
Religion and Culture Religion and media; philosophy of technology; American religious history; minority religions and the politics of religious pluralism; contemporary critical thought

Andrew Aghapour

2017 B.A., College of Charleston
M.Phil., Cambridge University
Religion and Culture Religion and science in the modern and postmodern west; religion in literature; critical theory

Matthew Dougherty

2017 B.A., Amherst College
M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School
Religion in the Americas Missions and Native American Christianities in North America, American religion in the colonial and early republican periods, whiteness and masculinity in American religion

Stephanie Gaskill

2017 B.A., Bowling Green State University
M.A., Bowling Green State University
Religion in the Americas African American religious history, religion, and prisons

Cynthia Hogan

2017 B.A., Wells College
M.A., North Carolina State University
M.A., UNC-Chapel Hill
Religion and Culture theory and methods of religion; material religion; visual culture of religion; museums and religious material culture

Leonard J. Lowe

2017 B.A., Kentucky Christian University
M.T.S., Duke University
Religion and Culture Haitian religious economy; critical ethnography; religion and poverty; surrealism and Négritude

Shaily Shashikant Patel

2017 B.A., Wake Forest University
M.A., University of Chicago Divinity School
M.T.S., Vanderbilt Divinity School
Ancient Mediterranean Religions The construction of spiritual and political identity and authority in formative Christianity

Travis Proctor

2017 B.A., Washington University in St. Louis
M.A., UNC-Chapel Hill
Ancient Mediterranean Religions Early Christian apologetics and heresiology (1st-2nd centuries CE); demonologies of the Ancient Mediterranean; the body in early Christian literature; formation and function of authoritative scriptural collections; critical theory and historiography