Emily Anderson

Emily Anderson is Project Curator at the Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles) as well as a scholar of Japanese religion and imperialism. She is currently preparing content for the upcoming exhibition, Don’t Fence Me In: Coming of Age in America’s Concentration Camps. She has worked on a diverse range of exhibitions, including Sutra and Bible: Faith and the Japanese American World War II Incarceration (February 26, 2022 – February 19, 2023) and Cannibals: Myth and Reality (San Diego Museum of Us, March 2016 – ongoing). She has also published on Christianity in Japan, the Japanese empire, and Japanese immigrants before World War II. She holds a PhD in modern Japanese history from UCLA (2010).

Lloyd Barba

Lloyd Daniel Barba is an assistant professor of Religion and core faculty in Latinx and Latin American Studies at Amherst College. He is the author of Sowing the Sacred: Mexican Pentecostal Farmworkers in California (Oxford University Press, 2022), editor of Latin American and U.S. Latinx Religion in North America (Bloomsbury Academic 2023), and co-editor of Oneness Pentecostalism: Race, Gender and Culture (Penn State University Press, 2023). He has authored articles and chapters on the history of race and religion, Pentecostalism, Catholicism, and the U.S. Sanctuary Movement and has contributed essays to the Washington Post, The Conversation, and Religion and Politics.

Anthea Butler

Anthea Butler is Geraldine R. Segal Professor in American Social Thought and chair of the department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. A historian of African American and American religion, Professor Butler’s research and writing spans African American religion and history, race, politics, Evangelicalism, gender and sexuality, media, and popular culture. Her most recent book is White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America. A sought-after commentator, Butler is an opinion writer for MSNBC. Her articles have also been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NBC, and the Guardian. She has served as a consultant to the PBS series Billy Graham, The Black Church, God in America and Aimee Semple McPherson. Butler is the 2022 winner of the Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion given by the American Academy of Religion.

Samah Choudhury

Samah Choudhury is an Assistant Professor in the department of Philosophy and Religion at Ithaca College where she teaches courses on religion, race, pop culture, and Islam. She is at work on her first book, titled American Muslim Humor and the Politics of Secularity, which examines how Muslims have articulated themselves through the medium of standup comedy in the U.S., and the ways that Islam gains recognition or becomes obscured under the specter and demands of U.S. multicultural secularism.

Gillian Frank

Gillian Frank is a historian of sexuality and religion. He is a visiting affiliate fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Culture, Society and Religion. Frank is the author of numerous academic articles on the histories of sexuality, gender and religion (which have appeared in venues like the Journal of the History of Sexuality and Gender and History) and public facing scholarship (with bylines in the Washington Post, Time, Jezebel and Slate). He is also co-editor of Devotions and Desires: Histories of Sexuality and Religion in the 20th Century United States (UNC Press: 2018). Frank is currently at work on a manuscript called A Sacred Choice: Liberal Religion and the Struggle for Abortion Before Roe v. Wade (forthcoming UNC Press). You can listen to his podcast Sexing History, which explores how the history of sexuality shapes our present, wherever you stream your shows.

Abel Gomez

Abel R. Gomez is Assistant Professor of Native American and Indigenous spiritual traditions in the Religion Department at Texas Christian University, located in the homelands of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes. His research and public scholarship focus on sacred sites, gender, and ceremonial resurgence in the context of contemporary Indigenous religious traditions.

Charlie McCrary

Charles McCrary is a postdoctoral research scholar at Arizona State University and this fall will be assistant professor of religious studies at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. He is the author of Sincerely Held: American Secularism and Its Believers, published by University of Chicago Press in 2022. In addition to writing in academic journals, he has written for popular venues including Religion & PoliticsThe Revealer, and The New Republic.

Samira Mehta

Samira Mehta is the Director of Jewish Studies and an Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is the author of Beyond Chrismukkah: Christian Jewish Interfaith Families in the United States (UNC Press, 2018) and The Racism of People Who Love You: Essays on Mixed Race Belonging (Beacon Press, 2023). She is the principle investigator on a Henry Luce Funded initative called “Jews of Color: Histories and Futures” and is working on two monographs: God Bless the Pill: Contraception and Sexuality in Tri-Faith America and A Mixed Multitude: A History of Jews of Color in the United States.

Brad Onishi

Bradley Onishi is faculty at the University of San Francisco, author of the just released Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism – And What Comes Next, and the co-host of the “Straight White American Jesus” podcast, which appears regularly in the top 50 on Apple’s Politics charts.


Jalane Schmidt

Jalane Schmidt is the Director of the University of Virginia Karsh Institute of Democracy’s Memory Project and an Associate Professor of Religious Studies. She teaches courses on university-community relations, African diaspora religions and race and social change movements, and is the author of Cachita’s Streets: The Virgin of Charity, Race and Revolution in Cuba (Duke UP). An appointee of the City of Charlottesville’s Historic Resources Committee, Schmidt is guiding a process to memorialize local sales of enslaved people. She leadspublic history events and educational tours about African American history, appears in media outlets such as NPR, PBS, the Washington Post and New York Times, and authors op-eds in venues such as Slate. Schmidt is a scholar-activist who in 2017 helped organize counter-protests to white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, and co-founded advocacy organizations which successfully lobbied to change a century-old Virginia state law that had prohibited the removal of Confederate monuments. The Memory Project supports Swords Into Plowshares, an initiative to melt down Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee statue to create new public art. Her first documentary short film, “Unveiling: The Origin of Charlottesville’s Monuments,” is streaming on PBS.

Audrey Truschke

Audrey Truschke is Associate Professor of South Asian History at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. Her research focuses on the cultural, imperial, and intellectual history of medieval and early modern India as well as the politics of history in modern times. She also writes about Hindu nationalism in both India and the United States. Audrey is the author of three books: Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court (Columbia University Press, 2016), Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India’s Most Controversial King (Stanford University Press, 2017), and The Language of History: Sanskrit Narratives of Indo-Muslim Rule (Columbia University Press, 2021). She is currently working on a single volume history of India with the support of a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholars grant. Audrey believes in talking about history outside the ivory tower, and so you can find her on Twitter (@audreytruschke).


Robin Globus Veldman

Robin Globus Veldman is an associate professor of Religious Studies at Texas A&M University, where she researches how religious teachings and traditions influence members’ attitudes toward the natural world. Her current project examines how contemporary ‘civil religion’ influences climate politics in the United States.




Donovan Schaefer

Donovan Schaefer is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the role of embodiment and feeling in religion, science, material culture, and formations of the secular. His first book, Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power (Duke 2015) challenged the notion that religion is inextricably linked to language and belief, proposing instead that it is primarily driven by affects. His most recent book, Wild Experiment: Feeling Science and Secularism after Darwin (Duke 2022) explores the intersections between affect theory, science, and critical approaches to the secular. His current project explores the relationships between feeling, belief, the secular, and material culture, with a particular focus on the politics of Confederate monuments in the US.

Jolyon Thomas

Jolyon Thomas is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His research investigates religion as it intersects with media, politics, and the law, focusing on Japan, the United States, and their respective empires from the late nineteenth century to the present. He is the author of Drawing on Tradition: Manga, Anime, and Religion in Contemporary Japan (Hawaii, 2012) and Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan, (Chicago 2019). His third book, Difficult Subjects: Religion and the Politics of Public Education in Japan and the United States, is under contract with University of Chicago Press. He has bylines at Dharma World, Killing the BuddhaMarginalia, Nippon.com, the Revealer, Sacred Matters, and Tricycle.

Angela Xia

Angela Xia is a PhD candidate in the department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the 2022-2023 Boardman Fellow. Her research focuses on religion, health and political economy in the modern United States, with particular interests in the social effects of privatization, the relationship between religion and capitalism, gendered expectations of labor and caregiving, and the way embodied conditions, such as disability or illness, shape religious subjectivity.

Her dissertation, currently titled “The Rest of Life: Care and Aging in American Protestantism, 1916-2000,” examines how Protestant leaders and laypeople across the 20th century have answered the question: who should care for the elderly, and what should that care look like? While caring for older generations is a familiar practice in the history of Christianity, in the twentieth century United States this task increasingly became the province of secular, public institutions. “The Rest of Life” analyzes how American churches negotiated their relationship with two such institutions—the welfare state and biomedicine—in their attempts to privatize pensions and make care for the aging a labor of love rather than of compensation.

Prior to doctoral study, Angela received a B.A. in American Studies from Columbia University, where she taught in Columbia’s Knowledge for Freedom Initiative, a liberal arts seminar and college mentoring program for New York City high school students.

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