Assistant Professor of Religion
Areas of expertise
I am a specialist in Native American religious studies, and am particularly interested in narrative/folklore, issues of identity, and the active role of land and landscape in native religious activity. I also teach courses that look at Rastafari, Vodun, Santeria, and the Virgin of Guadalupe, among other indigenous traditions. I cross-list courses with Environmental Studies and Feminist Studies, and participate in the Ethnic Studies minor as well.
My approach to the study of Religion can be termed an 'integrated approach,' which is a cornerstone for the study of all indigenous, non-textual traditions. The integrated approach requires interdisciplinary expertise and the use of cultural context, and therefore requires the integration of areas such as history, gender studies, anthropology, sociology, and government to fully understand the ways in which religious activity wholly permeates the lives of people. It also requires direct contact and interaction with religious communities, and I try to integrate what I learn from community interaction as much as possible into the classroom experience for students. My courses are designed around the notion that most students know very little about contemporary indigenous religious communities, and my goal is to get students to move outside of stereotypical ideas and try to understand these religious traditions and concepts within their own internal frameworks and contexts. I ask students to rethink linear, temporal religious orientation and to begin to understand a circular, spatial religious orientation. My goal is to offer courses which will introduce students to indigenous, non-textual traditions at both the philosophical and practical level.
PhD,The University of California, Santa Barbara 2003
M.A.,The University of Arizona 1996
M.A.,Colgate University 1994
B.A.,Colgate University 1992
Assistant Professor of Religion
University of Vermont
August 01, 2004 - June 01, 2009
Assistant Professor of Native Studies
The University of Minnesota, Duluth
August 01, 2002 - June 01, 2004
Doctoral Fellow in Native American Studies
The University of Maine, Orono
August 01, 2000 - June 01, 2002
Courses: Fall 2013
Introduction to Native American Traditions
Colloquium in Religion
How Many Gods is Too Many?
My current research focuses on contemporary Native American religious identity, particularly among native people and communities located in urban settings. I am also interested in the intersection between Native American religion and "place". My future work will focus on religious revival through material culture production, contemporary Native American music, and the connection between religion and sports.
Specific subjects or issues you can knowledgeably discuss:
I am willing to talk to the media: yes
I am willing to talk to community groups about my area of expertise: yes
Can you do interviews in Spanish? no
Other languages you are fluent in: None
Experience with the news media (especially electronic media):I have provided phone and in-person interviews with members of the media, on various topics related to the study and practice of religion. I have also presente
Office: Kyle E. White 111