As a specialist in religion, politics, and violence, I am especially interested in the effects of hate crimes and micro-aggressions, as well as the legal management of these violences, on religious pluralism. I hold a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Northwestern University, with a certification in Religion and Global Politics. Through particular attention to space and place, my work focuses on phenomenological experiences of violence and the formation of collective narrative and identity.
My current book project examines the impact of hate crimes on religious minorities in the United States. Employing both ethnographic and archival research, I analyze the ways that religious communities grapple with the arsons of their places of worship and narrate the processes of reconstruction. Among the sites considered in the manuscript are Congregation B’nai Israel in Sacramento, California and the Islamic Society of Joplin, Missouri, which experienced the burning of their synagogue and mosque in 1999 and 2012, respectively. This work offers insight into American religious minorities’ lived experiences of hate crimes, their navigation of structural and psychological repair, and their evolving relationships to community and place. Moments of violence compel religious minority groups to renegotiate their communal identities, priorities, and actions. Moreover, this work inquires into the blurred co-construction of race and religion through crime and law.
Although my research interests are rooted in Religious Studies, I am deeply dedicated to interdisciplinary learning and the public humanities. At Northwestern, I organized a certificate program in Religion and Global Politics, and I founded and co-coordinated a Graduate Student Workshop in Religion and Global Politics. I was also active at Northwestern’s Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities. I hold an M.A. in Religious Studies from Northwestern University, a B.A. in Religion from Barnard College of Columbia University, and a B.A. in Hebrew Bible from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. I successfully completed my PhD by earning an American Dissertation Fellowship from the American Association of University Women in 2015.