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MAVCOR celebrates the achievements of our Material Economies of Religion (MERA) fellows.

Lerone Martin and Judith Weisenfeld (with Anthea Butler) were awarded a $1 million Henry Luce Foundation Grant for their project "The Crossroads Project: Black Religious Histories, Communities, and Cultures" (2021-2025).

Judith Weisenfeld received Princeton’s 2020 Graduate Mentoring Award for the Humanities. In 2019 she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Barbara Sostaita successfully defended her doctoral dissertation and was awarded an American Dissertation Fellowship from the American Association of University Women and the Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women's Studies.

In November 2018, a show of the photographs of the Mexican photographer Fernando Brito opened at Fordham's International Institute for Humanitarian Affairs gallery. MERA fellow Didier Aubert organized the show; MERA fellow Barbara Mundy was the on-site curator. In fall 2019 the exhibit continued on to Yale where MERA fellow Laura Worden installed the show and organized a gallery talk with Fernando Brito, Barbara Mundy, and Didier Aubert. The exhibit was also briefly shown at The John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Brown University (March 2020).

David Walker's book Railroading Religion: Mormons, Tourists, and the Corporate Spirit of the West (UNC Press 2019) received the 2020 Best Book Award from the Mormon History Association.

Marci Kwon was awarded an Internal Faculty Fellowship at Stanford Humanities Center for 2021-2022, the 2019 CCSRE Teaching Award, and the 2020 Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award.  Her book, "Enchantments: Joseph Cornell and American Modernism," will be published by Princeton University Press in March 2021. 

Hillary Kaell started a new job as Associate Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies at McGill University in August 2020.

Maya Berry was awarded the Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Institute for Citizens & Scholars (formerly known as the Woodrow Wilson Foundation) for Fall 2020 and the Faculty Fellowship from the Institute for the Arts & Humanities for Spring 2021.

For her teaching, Berry received the UNC Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award in Engaged Teaching in 2020, and the 2021 UNC Johnston Teaching Excellence Award.


We recognize the following MERA Fellow publications:

Barbara Sostaita, “Water Not Walls: Towards a Religious Study of Life that Defies Borders,” American Religion 1, no. 2 (Spring 2020): 74-97. doi:10.2979/amerreli.1.2.04.

Laura Levitt, The Objects That Remain (Penn State University Press, 2020).

_______. “The Allure of Material Objects: Fetishization Reconsidered,” Massachusetts Review, 60:4 (Winter 2019-20), 1-17.

_______. “The I in My Text: Revisiting Critical Feminist Identity Politics, Refusing the Allures of Purity,” for Shofar, 37.2 (Summer 2019), 91-106.

Didier Aubert, "Odd Man in: The Methodist Reverend and the Photo Archive," Photography and Culture (March 2020), DOI: 10.1080/17514517.2020.1815968

Sonia Hazard, “Evangelical Encounters: The American Tract Society and the Rituals of Print Distribution in Antebellum America,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 88, no. 1 (2020), 200-234.

______. “The American Tract Society and the Refinement of the Evangelical Book, 1825-1861,” The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 114, no. 2 (2020), 127-94.

______. “Two Ways of Thinking about New Materialism,” Material Religion 15, no. 5 (2019), 629-31.

Alex Kaloyanides, "Buddhist Teak and British Rifles: Religious Economics in Burma's Last Kingdom," Journal of Burma Studies (2020) 24, no. 1

David Walker, Railroading Religion: Mormons, Tourists, and the Corporate Spirit of the West (UNC Press 2019)

Gabriela Siracusano and Agustina Rodríguez Romero, eds. Materia Americana. The body of Spanish American images (16th to mid-19th centuries) (Buenos Aires, Eduntref, 2020).

Judith Weisenfeld, “The House We Live In: Religio-Racial Theories and the Study of Religion,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 88:2 (June 2020): 440-459, which was part of a in roundtable on “’Religio-Racial Identity’ as Challenge and Critique,” focusing on her book New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration (NYU 2016)

______.  “Space, Place” for The Immanent Frame’s A Universe of Terms, February 28, 2020

______. “A Rare Human Document”: LoBagola’s African American Humbug Religion,” American Religion 1:1 (Fall 2019): 27-48

______. “Framing the Nation: Religion, Film, and American Belonging,” The Journal of Mormon History 45:2 (April 2019): 23-48

Emily Floyd with Ricardo Kusunoki, “The Virgin in Lima: Gregorio Fosman y Medina and the Transatlantic Lives of Printing Plates in the Seventeenth Century.” Print Quarterly 37, no. 4 (2020): 432-443.

Emily Floyd. “Privileging the Local: Prints and the New World in Early Modern Lima.” In A Companion to Early Modern Lima, edited by Emily Engel. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers, 2019.

Aanchal Saraf, "‘We’d rather eat rocks’: Contesting the Thirty Meter Telescope in a Struggle over Science and Sovereignty in Hawai‘i" The Journal of Transnational American Studies

______. "Aloha made: the circulation of empire, plastic, and the visceral in Bishop Museum’s “Unreal Hawai‘i”" Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory

Paul Johnson, Automatic Religion: Nearhuman Agents of Brazil and France. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021.

_______. “Translating Spirits: Medical-Ritual Healing and Law in Brazil and the Broader Afro-Atlantic World.” Osiris: History of Science 36 (2021): 1-20.

_______. “Spirit Incorporation in Candomblé,” in Companion to Material Religion. Edited by Vasudha Narayanan. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2020: 269-309.

_______. “Photographe, esprit, esprit-photographe: Un cas d’enchêvetrement sémiotique au Brésil, 1871.” Archives de sciences sociales des religions 187: 103-126.

Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, “Muslim Migration, Citizenship, and Belonging in U.S. Politics of Secularism” in Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging, eds. Leerom Medovoi and Elizabeth Bently, Raleigh, NC: Duke University Press, (2021), 251-263.

________. “Structuring Sovereignty: Islam and Modernity in the Mosque of Muhammad ‘Ali Pasha” in Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief 16, no. 3 (2020), 317-344.

Hillary Kaell, Christian Globalism at Home: Child Sponsorship in the United States (Princeton University Press, 2020).

______. “The Holy Childhood Association on Earth and in Heaven: Catholic Globalism in Nineteenth-century North America,” American Quarterly 72(4) 2020: 827-851.

______. “Renamed: The Living, the Dead, and the Global in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Christianity,” American Historical Review 125(3) 2020: 815-839.

______. “Semi-Public Hints of Jewish Lineage in Messianic Judaism,” Ethnos, June 2020.

Kaell also organized two online forums: “American Religion, Askew: An Experiment in Global Interpretation,” American Religion, Nov/Dec 2020. https://american-religion.org/askew

and "The Hebraic Style in Christian Nationalism,” The Christian Nation Project, September 2020. https://thechristiannationproject.net/hebraic-style-nation-bulilding/