Projects

On this page is a collection of current and previous projects I have worked on. Click on each one or contact me for further details. I am always eager to hear from students, colleagues, and anyone else who might be interested in collaborations to extend these initiatives in new directions.

If you have trouble accessing any of my written work on the following pages, please reach out to me, and I can provide it upon request.


Since 2017, including as part of my graduate training, I have been working with Christians in South Africa on the development of the church and responses to post-apartheid division. This work has explored evangelicals’ dynamic engagement with global shifts in ideas about theology, gender, inequality, religious legitimacy, and scientific authority. The writings and publications stemming from this project have been based in over sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in Johannesburg and other parts of the country.


In 2014, I conducted ethnographic research with young-earth creationists in northern Kentucky. This project, which set the context for my later work in South Africa, explored the semiotic and identity-based components of contemporary American creation science and its relation with dominant discourses. I have been especially concerned with social pressures to refract religious messages through scientistic frameworks and what American creationism can tell us about the changing face of global Christianity.


WCIE

During the 2017-2018 academic year, I received funding to inaugurate Brandeis’s Workshop for Critical Inquiry and Education, an interdisciplinary venue that showcases exciting works-in-progress to support the writing curriculum. The program was created to support the writing curriculum of the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program, a select-cohort first-year experience designed to provide intensive mentorship and support for students who are historically underrepresented in higher education.


Across several of my projects, I have written about and sponsored conversations related to the social life of law. Whether in courtroom settings or in public contestations over government policy, competing notions of justice, rights, and transformation speak to concerns as deeply human as the existential reflections of religious actors. At the core, I seek to draw attention to the unwritten story of law: Social structure and precedents are not destiny, and legal institutions are amenable to being reshaped for undetermined ends.


Index of Publications and Drafts from All Projects
(in reverse chronological order)

2023

“Sing and Make Music to the Lord”: Cultural Difference in South Africa’s Urban Religious Soundscapes
In Anthropology Southern Africa 46(3):173-187, 2023

2022

“Who Gets to Own Land?”
In People before Markets: An Alternative Case Book, edited by Daniel SoulelesJohan Gersel, and Morten Sørensen Thaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Supplementary teaching materials related to the chapter and book project

The Sins of Our Ancestors: Conservative Evangelical Christianity and Cosmological Responses to Racial Division in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Doctoral Dissertation, Brandeis University

Book Review of Glossolalia and the Problem of Language, Nicholas Harkness (University of Chicago Press, 2021)
In the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 32(1):252-254

2020

Pentecostal Promise and a South African Dream Deferred
From Africa Is a Country, March 31, 2020

2019

The Prosperity Gospel and an Unprosperous Reality in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Conservative Evangelical Responses to Charismatic Christianity
Paper presented as part of the Wits Interdisciplinary Seminar in the Humanities

Aging and the End Times: Evangelical Eschatology and Experiences of Elderhood in the United States and South Africa
In Anthropology & Aging 40(1):32-47

2018

Religion and Science
From The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

2017

Evangelistic Failures and Imperial Anxieties among Nineteenth-Century American Missionaries to the Zulu
Presentation at the Science, Religion, and Culture Symposium

2016

Anthropology, Law, and the Pursuit of Social Justice: A Conference in Honor of Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
Academic conference held at Brandeis University

2015

‘Only One Race’: Religious and Scientific Rhetoric of Anti-Racism among Young-Earth Creationists
Conference presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association

Contesting the Secular Other, Constructing the Creationist Self: Scientific Discourse and Religious Narrative among Kentuckian Evangelical Christians
Master’s Thesis, Brandeis University

2014

Confiding in ‘God’s Word,’ Confirming through ‘Man’s Word’
Conference presentation at Ways of Knowing 2014: Graduate Conference on Religion