As a first year Ph.D. student in the Religion and Culture concentration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill I am currently gaining teaching experience while studying religion through various social processes involved in identity formation.
Looking broadly at postcolonial Latin America, I am concerned with the narrow, though difficult to define, category of Guadalupan devotion. I bring an interdisciplinary approach to Guadalupan devotion that draws on my training in Religious Studies, Anthropology, and Spanish. Rather than taking Guadalupan rituals or devotees as data in themselves, I focus on the social utility of origins tales about Guadalupan identity and the connection between this utility and the development of the modern Mexican nation-state. Examining the various discourses that narrate the Virgin’s appearance just outside modern day Mexico City in the early 16th century aids in contextualizing the influence those discourses have on contemporary scholarship on Guadalupan devotion. Beyond this case study, my interest in social theory and group identity has pushed me to think and write broadly about global apparition culture. I received my M.A. from the Religion in Culture program at the University of Alabama where I wrote a thesis analyzing the rhetoric of hybridity in descriptions of Marian devotional cultures located in Mexico, the modern Indian subcontinent, and pre-Soviet Russia, respectively.
I have ongoing experience as a guest lecturer, online instructor, and graduate teaching assistant in courses in Religious Studies while also doing work for the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion, a regional group of the American Academy of Religion, as their web manager.