I welcome inquiries from prospective graduate students interested in thinking critically about the question of religion, both in the sense of its genealogical formation as a concept and in terms of how religion is also a word of power that shapes the actions and histories of people, communities, and nations. I see community and collaboration as a central part of graduate student formation, and often include students in research and workshop travel, as well as publish together with them. For a range of examples of how my students, past and present, have made their mark on the study of religion, please see below.
CURRENT PhD SUPERVISIONS
Judith Ellen Brunton
Oil Publics & the Good Life in Alberta
Judith’s current project explores how legacies of oil extraction allow for specific contemporary imaginaries of the good life in Alberta. With case studies on Imperial Oil’s publications on history and culture, Energy Heritage sites, The Calgary Stampede, and various corporate aspirational initiatives.
Judith can be found online here.
Seed Sown Among Thorns: American Street Preaching and the Promise of Revival
Located between the anthropology of Christianity and American religious history, Kyle’s research examines the temporality of religious revival. His dissertation, grounded in the ethnographic study of street preachers in North America, focuses on revivalism as a method of interpreting history, a style of inhabiting the present, and a mode of anticipating the future.
Kyle can be found online here and here.
Suzanne van Geuns
The Truth about Our Programming: Rightwing Gender Essentialism and the Internet of Instruction
Suzanne’s research investigates how the internet launches socially conservative futures, with a particular interest in conservative Christian women’s blogging, anti-feminist ‘theory’ forums, and white nationalist discussion platforms.
Suzanne can be found online here and here.
Banned Books and Bodies in Sixteenth-Century England
Elizabeth’s research examines heretical and seditious books and authors in sixteenth-century England with a particular focus on royal proclamations, statutes, and canons that list banned books and authors between 1530 and 1558.
Co-supervision with Professor David Galbraith
Ruling by the Book: Colonial Formations of the Bible in Nineteenth-Century Canada
Roxanne’s dissertation research focuses on the translation, publication, and distribution of Indigenous-language bibles in nineteenth-century Canada. More broadly, she is interested in histories of religion and colonialism in North America and imbrications of religion, media, and power in colonial contexts.
Roxanne can be found online here.
Drawing Out the Word: Retelling the Bible through Comics
Co-supervision with Professor Simon Coleman. Through visual, historical, and ethnographic analyses of Bible comics produced in North America from 1945 to the present, Christina’s research explores how the cross-pollination of various linguistic, aesthetic, and marketing conventions central to the comic book and Bible publishing industries shape the politics of Bible translation today. She narrows in on Christian missionaries, secularism, gender, and creative labour in the literary and visual arts to understand how the authority of the Bible’s words within a “Protestant textual cosmology” are reimagined through comic book illustrations, where word and image are juxtaposed within a single medium.
Christina can be found online here and here.
Indigenous Social Movements in Motion: Walking the Land as Decolonizing Practice in the Journey of Nishiiyuu
Meaghan’s research is on the journey of Nishiiyuu, a social movement in which Cree and Inuit youth from Great Whale River, Quebec travelled 1600 km by foot to Canada’s capital Ottawa, Ontario during the Winter of 2013. She considers how Indigenous youth engage in and commemorate walking the land as a way to foster a holistic sense of well-being and negotiate competing demands for resurgence and reconciliation in colonial Canada.
CURRENT PhD COMMITTEES
Performance-Based Conversion Events and the Cultivation of Young Pentecostal Political Identities in the U.S.
Saliha’s doctoral research investigates the annual cycle of performance-based conversion events that many Pentecostal American youth take part in, and how these events function as spaces wherein youth can cultivate and perform their religious and political identities.
Saliha can be found online here.
How They Worked: Labour and Religion in Tibetan Buddhist History and Literature
Annie’s research explores how depictions of labour appear across genres in pre-modern Buddhist Tibetan institutions, and how these depictions relate to known material realities of labour, resource extraction, and the construction of public projects.
Annie can be found online here.
CURRENT MA STUDENTS
Ceremony in Museums within an Indigenous Context
Anishnawbe qwe from Whitesand First Nation, Audrey is developing research on decolonizing museums and ceremony in museums. Using a comparative analysis, her work will explore ancestral objects and the power they have to transform within Indigenous and non-Indigenous spaces. Audrey is the Crane and Governance leader for the Native Students Association, a junior fellow at Massey College, and a recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Native Student of the Year.
Audrey can be found online here.
Valeria’s masters research focuses on the history and contemporary developments of the interfaith movement in North America, with a focus on the Parliament of the World’s Religions–the largest interfaith gathering in the world. Through historic and ethnographic methods, Valeria’s work investigates the first Parliament, held in Chicago in 1893, and the most recent Parliament, held in Toronto in 2018. Her thesis will focus specifically on Indigenous involvement in these two events. Valeria is a junior fellow at Massey College and a Global Council Trustee for the United Religions Initiative.
PhD SUPERVISION GRADUATES
Desired Taxonomies: On the Collection of Siberian Shamanic Materials in Late Imperial Russia
Evangelicals in the Ethnoburbs: Chinese Christian Imaginaries and the Landscape of the Canadian Dream
Helen passed away in 2017.
Fit for Food: ‘Eating Jewishly’ and ‘The Islamic Paradigm’ as Emergent Religious Foodways in Toronto
Aldea can be found online here.
Hawayo Takata and the Circulatory Development of Reiki in the Twentieth-Century North Pacific
Justin can be found online here.
Jodie Boyer Hatlem
Sin and Sanity in 19th c. American Christianity
Jodie can be found online here.
Resurrected Bodies: Religious Interpretations of Organ Donation
Arlene can be found online here.
PhD COMMITTEE GRADUATES
Textualizing the (Inauthentic) Paul
Greg can be found online here.
Women and Hormones in Tibetan Medical Literature
Card-Carrying Christians: Credit, Debt, and Believing in Emerging Colombia
What Would Jesus Wear?: Dress in Synoptic Gospels
A Fountain Sealed: Virginity and the American Family
Rendering Bioavailable Subjects: Secular Embodiments, Religion, and Racializing Biopolitics in Ontario Organ Donation Advocacy
The Devil is in the Details: An Examination of the History Possession and Exorcism in the Catholic Church
Judith Ellen Brunton
Keeping Safe: The Toronto Birth Centre, Indigenous Midwifery and Culturally Safe Care
Keeping Us Sober: Prohibition, Protestants and Physicians in Early Twentieth-Century Ontario
Adoption and Christianity in Canada
Purity Balls: A 21st century, American Method of Ensuring Female Sexual Purity and Creating Feminine Identity
Immanent God, Divine Physician: Protestant and Catholic Faith Healing Narratives in 19th c. Quebec
Religious Diversity and Midwifery Care in Toronto
Postcolonial Approaches to Baltic Folktales
Indigenous spirituality and the Anglican Church