Sally M. Promey

Sally M. Promey (Center Director) is Professor of American Studies and Professor of Religion and Visual Culture at Yale University where she is also Deputy Director of the Institute of Sacred Music. She holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religious Studies and an affiliation with the Department of History of Art. She convenes the Sensory Cultures of Religion Research Group. Prior to arriving in New Haven, she was chair and professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland, where she taught for fifteen years. Her many publications include two award-winning books, Painting Religion in Public: John Singer Sargent’s Triumph of Religion at the Boston Public Library (Princeton University Press, 1999; American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Historical Study of Religion) and Spiritual Spectacles: Vision and Image in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Shakerism (Indiana University Press, 1993; Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art). Most recently she is co-editor, with Leigh Eric Schmidt, of American Religious Liberalism (Indiana University Press, 2012); and editor of Sensational Religion: Sensory Cultures in Material Practice (Yale University Press, forthcoming 2014). Promey is recipient of numerous grants and fellowships including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a residential fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, two Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellowships (1993 and 2003) at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers. She serves on the editorial boards of Material Religion and Images: A Journal of Jewish Art and Visual Culture, is an editorial advisor to American Art, and a member of the advisory committee of the Center for Historic American Visual Culture at the American Antiquarian Society. Her research explores sensory, material, and spatial practices of American religion. Studies of the public display of religion, the material manifestations of scriptural metaphor, and the co-constitutive histories of Western religious and artistic modernities number among her current projects.