You are here

Religion, Protest and Social Upheaval

Participant Biographies

J. Kameron Carter, Duke Divinity School
THURSDAY at 1: Religion and Black Lives Matter

J. Kameron CarterJ. Kameron Carter is an associate professor of theology, English, and African American studies at Duke Divinity School. Carter received his B.A. from Temple University, M.Th. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Carter incorporates theological and religious studies concepts, critical theory, and poetry throughout his work in African American and African diaspora studies. In 2008 he authored "A Theological Account," and he is the editor of "Religion and the Future of Blackness," a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, in 2013. Currently he is completing two books, "God’s Property: Blackness and the Problem of Sovereignty" and "Postracial Blues: Religion and the Twenty-First Century Color Line."

Tara Chung Hyun Kyung, Union Theological Seminary
FRIDAY at 9: Interfaith, Indigeneity, and Ecological Movements

Chung Hyun KyungChung Hyun Kyung is an associate professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, New York. She received both a B.A. and M.A. from Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, a diploma from the Women’s Theological Center of Boston, an M.Div. from the School of Theology at Claremont Graduate University, and a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary. She is a lay theologian of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, as well as once having become a temporary Buddhist novice nun. Currently, she is in the process of becoming a dharma teacher at the Kwan Eum Zen School in New York City. Her teaching and research interests include feminist and eco-feminist theologies and spiritualities from Asia, Africa, and Latin America; Christian-Buddhist dialogue; Zen meditation; and approaches to disease and healing in varied religious backgrounds. During her sabbatical in 2006-2007, Chung did research through a yearlong immersion experience with Muslim women who are involved in peacemaking work in 16 different Islamic countries.

Mary Doak, University of San Diego
FRIDAY at 9: Catholicism, Pope Francis, and Ecological Movements

Mary DoakMary Doak is an associate professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego. She received a B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School. Doak’s research is focused on the intersection of Christianity and politics, specifically liberation and political theologies, theologies of democracy and religious freedom, the goal of human life and history from a Christian perspective, and theologies of the church. She is co-editor of "Translating Religion" (2013) and author of "Reclaiming Narrative for Public Theology" (2004). Her current book project is an exploration of the mission of the church in the face of the challenges of the 21st century, especially the feminization of poverty, worldwide migration, and ecological degradation.

Nichole Flores, University of Virginia 
WEDNESDAY at 3:30: Religion and Latinx Immigration

Nichole FloresNichole M. Flores is an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia. She earned an A.B. in government from Smith College, an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in theological ethics from Boston College. Flores’ research emphasizes the contributions of Catholic and U.S. Latinx theologies to notions of justice, emotion, and aesthetics as they relate to the common good within plural socio-political contexts. In practical ethics, her work addresses issues of migration, labor, consumption, race and ethnicity, family, and politics. In support of her first book, "Guadalupe in the Public Square: Aesthetic Solidarity and the Common Good," she was awarded grants from the Mellon Global South Humanities Fellowship and the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. She is a contributing author to America: The Jesuit Review of Faith & Culture.

Ju Hui Judy Han, UCLA
THURSDAY at 9: Religion and LGBTQ Movements

Ju Hui Judy HanJu Hui Judy Han is an assistant professor in the Department of Gender Studies at UCLA. She received a B.A. in English and women’s studies and a Ph.D. in geography, both from the University of California, Berkeley, and has until recently taught at the University of Toronto. Han is a cultural geographer with interdisciplinary interests in religion, mobility, and difference. Her teaching and research have focused on the nexus of political economy and cultural politics through the interdisciplinary frameworks of Korean studies, postcolonial cultural studies, and critical race, sexuality, and gender studies. She has published a number of journal articles and book chapters on evangelical Christian missions and sexual politics in Korea and the Korean diaspora.

Zayn Kassam, Pomona College
WEDNESDAY at 3:30: Muslims and Migration

Zayn KassamZayn Kassam is the John Knox McLean Professor of Religious Studies at Pomona College in Claremont, California. Kassam received her B.A. in religious studies, M.A. in Islamic studies, and Ph.D. in the history of religion from McGill University. At Pomona, Kassam teaches courses on mysticism, gender, literature, ethics, and the environment. She has lectured widely on gender issues. In 2006 Kassam authored "Introduction to the World’s Major Religions: Islam" and in 2010 edited "Women and Islam." Currently she is editing a book on gender activism in Asian Religions and is preparing a book on gender and Islam. Kassam has been honored with three Wig Awards for Distinguished Teaching at Pomona College and has been awarded an American Academy of Religion Excellence in Teaching Award.

Kwok Pui Lan, Emory University
THURSDAY at 9: Religion and the Women’s March

Kwok Pui LanKwok Pui Lan is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Theology at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Previously, she was the former William F. Cole Professor of Christian Theology and Spirituality at Episcopal Divinity School. Kwok has also taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Auburn Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, and Yale Divinity School. She received a Th.M. from Southeast Asia Graduate School of Theology and a Th.D. from Harvard University. In 2011 Kwok was president of the American Academy of Religion where she cofounded the network Pacific, Asian, North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry. She has held leadership roles in the Association of Theological Schools and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning. At Emory, Kwok is teaching courses in systematic theology including Feminist Theologies from the Global South and Spirituality for the Contemporary World.

Balmurli Natrajan, William Paterson University
WEDNESDAY at 1: Hindu Nationalism

Balmurli NatrajanBalmurli Natrajan is an associate professor and chair of the Anthropology Department at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. Natrajan received a B.E. from the Marine Engineering Research Institute in Kolkata, India, an M.S. in computer science from Southern Polytechnic State University, an M.A. in anthropology from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Iowa. Natrajan’s research focus has included problems of group formation, collective action, cultural identity, and community. Other interests include development and globalization, cultural theory, nature of explanation, and culture and cognition. Natrajan is the author of "Culturalizaiton of Caste in India: Identity and Inequality in a Multicultural Age" (2011), and co-edited "Against Stigma: Comparing Caste and Race in an Era of Global Justice" (2009).

Donovan Schaefer, University of Pennsylvania
WEDNESDAY at 1: Religious Affects and Trumpism

Donovan SchaeferDonovan Schaefer is an assistant professor in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Schaefer received his B.A. in an interdisciplinary religion, literature, and the arts program from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he was also born. Following his undergraduate career, Schaefer received both his master’s and doctoral degrees from Syracuse University. Afterward, he held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Haverford College. From 2014 to 2017, he was a departmental lecturer in science and religion at the University of Oxford. Schaefer is author of "Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power" (2015). He writes on the relationship between religion and emotion, with special attention to material culture, science, secularism, race, and embodiment.

Devin Singh, Dartmouth College
THURSDAY at 3:30: Religion and Capitalism

Devin SinghDevin Singh is an assistant professor of religion at Dartmouth College. He holds a B.A. from Pomona College, an M.Div. from Trinity International University, an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from Yale University. Before Dartmouth, Singh was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Integrated Humanities and Lecturer in Religious Studies at Yale University. Singh explores questions of religion and politics, religion and economics, secularization, sociology of markets and money, and race, ethnicity, and coloniality in relation to religion. He is currently working on two books: "Divine Currency: The Theological Power of Money in the West" and "When Debt Becomes God."

C. Melissa Snarr, Vanderbilt Divinity School
THURSDAY at 3:30: Religion and Labor Movements

C. Melissa SnarrC. Melissa Snarr is an associate dean for academic affairs and an associate professor of ethics and society at Vanderbilt Divinity School. She received a B.A. from Furman University and an M.Div. and Ph.D. from Emory University. A Christian social ethicist, her research has focused on the intersection of religion, social change, and political ethics. She seeks to bridge the worlds of religious activists and academic ethicists to deepen the understanding of religious traditions and practices to enhance the work for justice. Snarr has taught courses ranging from “Modern Christian Political Thought” and “Religion and Social Movements” to “Religion and War in an Age of Terror.” In 2011, she authored "All You That Labor: Religion and Ethics in the Living Wage Movement." She is working on a book tentatively titled "Interfaith Poverty in the United States."

Mark Lewis Taylor, Princeton Theological Seminary
THURSDAY at 1: Religion and the Alt-Right

Mark Lewis TaylorMark Lewis Taylor is the Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Theology and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned his M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Interests of Taylor’s include political philosophy of religious practices and theological discourse, particularly in Christian communities and broader social movements. Previously, he has served as the chair of the Religion and Society Committee at Princeton Seminary and has taught many courses on political theory and theological discourse. He authored "The Theological and the Political: On the Weight of the World" (2011), "Religion, Politics, and the Christian Right: Post-9/11 Politics and American Empire" (2005) and "The Executed God: The Way of the Cross in Lockdown America" (2001), which won the Best General Interest Book Award from the Association of Theological Booksellers. He founded Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal, a group of teachers from all levels of education, organizing since 1995 for a new trial on behalf of Abu-Jamal, a journalist on Pennsylvania’s death row for 30 years.