Graduate Students

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

Sarina Simmons
Missions on the Rainy River: Cosmologies of Land, Religion, and Power in Treaty 3 Territory

Sarina’s current project looks at the ways that Protestant churches in Canada respond to historical and contemporary injustices, especially their implication in colonialism and residential schools. She likes to think about religion and modernity, contemporary Anabaptism, the anthropology of mission, women in conservative religious movements, and the history of religion in Canada.

Kyle Byron
Preaching in the Streets of Sodom: Intimacy, Publicity, 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.

Christina Pasqua
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.

Roxanne Korpan
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.

Current PhD Committees

Annie Heckman
Reassembling Discipline: Bu ston Rin chen grub’s Compendium of Narratives on Monastic Rules for Nuns

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.

Saliha Chattoo
Performances and Public Mediations: Evangelical Youth and Performance-Based Conversion Events in the United States

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.

PhD Supervision Graduates

Suzanne van Geuns
Seductive Methods: Sexual Success in the Computational Imagination

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.

Judith Ellen Brunton
Pandemonium of Hope: Oil, Aspiration, and 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.

Meaghan Weatherdon
Unsettled Land: Walking the Land as Decolonizing Practice in the Journey of Nishiyuu

Elizabeth Klaiber
Book-Burning and the Banning of Books and Authors in England, 1526–1558: A Sixteenth-Century Fire-Library

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

Marisa Franz
A Gathering of Names: On the Categories and Collections of Siberian Shamanic Materials in Late Imperial Russian Museum, 1880-1910

Helen Mo 
Evangelicals in the Ethnoburbs: Chinese Christian Imaginaries and the Landscape of the Canadian Dream

Helen passed away in 2017.

Aldea Mulhern 
Fit for Food: ‘Eating Jewishly’ and ‘The Islamic Paradigm’ as Emergent Religious Foodways in Toronto

Aldea can be found online here.

Justin Stein  
Hawayo Takata and the Circulatory Development of Reiki in the Twentieth-Century North Pacific

Justin can be found online here.

Amy Fisher
This Place Should (Not) Exist’: An Ethnography of Shelter Workers and the In-Between.

Jodie Boyer 
Sin and Sanity in 19th c. American Christianity

Jodie can be found online here.

Rebekka King 
The New Heretics: Progressive Christians and the Historical Jesus

Rebecca can be found online here, here, and here.

Arlene Macdonald 
Resurrected Bodies: Religious Interpretations of Organ Donation
Arlene can be found online here.

Kerry Fast
‘but what a strange commixture am I’: Borders of Self and Religion in the Making of Women’s Lives

Kelly can be found online here and here.

Laurel Zwissler 
Demonstrations of Faith: Religious and Political Identity among Feminist Activists in North America

Laurel can be found online here and here.

PhD Committee Graduates

Jeffrey Wheatley
Policing Fanaticism, Religion, & Race in the American Empire, 1830–1930”, Northwestern University.

Gregory Fewster
Forgers and Critics and the Corpus Paulinum

Greg can be found online here.

Ashley Morford
Re-Mapping Coast Salish Territory through Pauline Johnson’s Legends of Vancouver.

Department of English/Collaborative Program in Book History and Print Culture (BHPC Practicum Supervisor).

Jennifer Bright 
Women and Hormones in Tibetan Medical Literature

Rebecca Bartel 
Card-Carrying Christians: Credit, Debt, and Believing in Emerging Colombia

Erin Vearncombe
What would Jesus Wear?: Dress in the Synoptic Gospels.

Shari Golberg 
When Beruriah Met Aisha: Textual Intersections and Interactions among Jewish and Muslim Women Engaged with Religious Law

Shari can be found online here and here.

Christina Reimer 
A Fountain Sealed: Virginity and the American Family

Stuart Parker 
Mormon Historiography

MA Graduates

Kate Stoehr
“The Culture of the Soil”: Agriculture, Improvement, and Settler Colonial Landscapes of Nineteenth Century Manitoulin Island

Kate’s research looks at the impact of agriculture on colonial conceptions of Manitoulin Island in the mid-nineteenth century. Kate investigates the ways in which settlers, colonial officials, and missionaries on Manitoulin employed the rhetoric of improvement in their efforts to “civilize” Indigenous people and lay claim to Indigenous land. Kate is interested in processes of colonial placemaking and the relationship between nineteenth-century colonial policy and Christianity.

Valeria Vergani
Building the Lodge of Nations: Contested Sovereignties, Indigeneity, and Interfaith Hospitality at the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions

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

Audrey Rochette
Indigenous Voices, Language and Ceremony in Museums: A Collection of Stories

Ayan Kassim 
Rendering Bioavailable Subjects: Secular Embodiments, Religion, and Racializing Biopolitics in Ontario Organ Donation Advocacy

Hannah Wilkinson
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

Kendra Hawke
Keeping Us Sober: Prohibition, Protestants and Physicians in Early Twentieth-Century Ontario

Jennifer Gilbert
Adoption and Christianity in Canada

Roselle Gonzalves
Purity Balls: A 21st century, American Method of Ensuring Female Sexual Purity and Creating Feminine Identity

Natalie Merglesky
Immanent God, Divine Physician: Protestant and Catholic Faith Healing Narratives in 19th c. Quebec

Jennifer Bailey
Religious Diversity and Midwifery Care in Toronto

Dace Veinberga
Postcolonial Approaches to Baltic Folktales

Marie Connor
Indigenous spirituality and the Anglican Church

Comprehensive Exam Committee Membership

Julia Rombough, Department of History 

Visiting Graduate Student Supervision

Su Dehua, Sichuan University

Post-doctoral Fellow Supervision

Isaiah Ellis, Faculty of Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellowship

Maxwell Kennel, SSHRC

Krista Barclay, Faculty of Arts & Science, U of Toronto

Philipp Hetmanczyk, Swiss National Science Foundation

Florence Pasche-Guignard, Swiss National Science Foundation

Marc Blainey, SSHRC