Virginia Colloquium in American Religion (VCAR)

The Virginia Colloquium in American Religion (VCAR) is an on-going forum for conversation and collaboration for faculty and graduate students interested in the history of religion in America. It meets several times each semester to workshop works in progress or discuss new scholarship in the field, often with participation from colleagues in the UVA History department or visiting scholars.

For further information contact the colloquium coordinator Maxwell Pingeon.

Spring 2021

All Spring 2021 events begin at 11AM.

  • 2/24 Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, speaks to us about an important working group composed of twelve scholars and hosted by Notre Dame entitled Gender, Sex, and Power: Towards a History of Clergy Sex Abuse in the US Catholic Church. https://cushwa.nd.edu/about/gendersexpower/.
  • 3/3 A Nuts-and-Bolts workshop, Teaching with Tech.
  • 3/10 Kai Parker joins us to discuss his current work.
  • 3/17 Shari Rabin, Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at Oberlin College, presents on her book Jews on the Frontier: Religion and Mobility in Nineteenth Century America (NYU Press, 2017), as well as on her current work. https://nyupress.org/9781479830473/jews-on-the-frontier/,
  • 3/24 Connor Kenaston will workshop a dissertation chapter entitled “Network Radio and the Making of ‘Mainwave Religion.’”
  • 3/31 We are joined by Aaron Griffith of Sattler College to discuss his new book God’s Law and Order: The Politics of Punishment in Evangelical America (Harvard University Press, 2020). https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674238787
  • 4/7 Emily Yen of UVA’s Sociology Department workshops some of her current work.
  • 4/14 TBD
  • 4/21 Kevin Rose workshops a chapter from his forthcoming dissertation entitled, “Living Green: The Neoliberal Climate of Protestant Environmentalism.”
  • 4/28 TBD

Fall 2020

  • 9/23 Melanie Pace dissertation prospectus workshop: “Magic at the Margins: Race, Class, and Metaphysical Religion in Rural Appalachia."
  • 10/7 Kai Parker on the Job Market Diversity Statement
  • 10/14 John T. McGreevy, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at Notre Dame University, will be sharing a chapter(s) from his forthcoming book Global Catholicism: From the French Revolution to Pope Francis, forthcoming by Norton.  
  • 10/21 K. Healan Gaston will speak on Imagining Judeo-Christian America: Religion, Secularism, and the Redefinition of Democracy, published by University of Chicago Press in 2019.  
  • 10/28 Nuts-and-bolts workshop: Teaching with Tech.
  • 11/4  Max Pingeon’s dissertation prospectus workshop: "'Our Anglo-Saxon Race': Irish, French-Canadians, and the School Question in New England, 1889-1929." 
  • 11/11 Pete Cajka from Notre Dame’s Cushwa Institute on his forthcoming Follow Your Conscience: The American Catholic Church, War, Sex, and the Sixties, forthcoming by University of Chicago Press.   
  • 11/18 Claudrena Harold will speak on her new book When Sunday Comes: Gospel Music in the Soul and Hip-Hop Eras, published by University of Illinois Press (2020). 
  • 11/25 Nuts-and-Bolts workshop on CVs: How to Build and Maintain Them

Fall 2018

  • 9/14 Isaac May, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia, Academic Job Search Workshop.
  • 9/28 Dr. Heather Warren, Associate Professor of ReligiousStudies, University of Virginia, Essay Workshop - Reinhold Niebuhr and American Foreign Policy.
  • 10/12 Dr. Spencer Wells, Research Scholar and Executive Assistant, Mormon Studies, University of Virginia, Journal Article Workshop - “Between God and Caesar: (Un)Civil Religion and the Disciplining of Revolutionary Conscience, 1774-1781.
  • 10/26 Kevin Rose, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia, Dissertation Prospectus Workshop - American Protestants, Environmental Crisis, and Neoliberalism, 1965-1985.
  • 11/9 Mae Speight, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia, Dissertation Chapter Workshop - The Ministerial Reformation: The Ordination of Women and Mainline Protestantism.
  • 11/30 Dr. Gillian Frank, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of American Studies, University of Virginia, Book Chapter Workshop - Making Choice Sacred: Liberal Religion and Reproductive Rights before Roe V Wade.

Previous Semesters

Spring 2018
  • 2/22 Dr. Max Perry Mueller, Department of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Research talk and book workshop, Race and the Making of the Mormon People (UNC, 2017). 
  • 2/9 Mae Speight, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia. Dissertation proposal workshop, "The Ministerial Reformation: The Ordination of Women and American Protestantism, 1950-1980."  
  • 2/2 Dr. Ashon Crawley, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia. Research talk and informal conversation. 
  • 1/26 Isaac May, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia. Syllabus workshop, "Introduction to Western Religious Traditions." 

Fall 2017

  • 9/1 Maxwell Pingeon, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia. Article manuscript workshop, "Secular Religion: Alcoholics Anonymous and the Category of the 'Spiritual.'" 
  • 9/15 Melanie Pace, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia. Article manuscript workshop, "Working With(out) Consent: A Historical and Harm Reduction Analysis of the Discourse of Sexual Consent in Addressing Campus Sexual Violence." 
  • 10/6 Mae Speight, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia. Article manuscript workshop, "Sacramentality and the Philadelphia Eleven: The Episcopal Women's Ordination Movement, 1970-1976." 
  • 10/20 Dr. Katherine Mohrman, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia. Book manuscript workshop, Exceptionally Queer: Mormon Peculiarity and US Exceptionalism. Combined with Southeastern Colloquium on American Religious Studies.
  • 11/10 Jesse Robinson, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia. Dissertation proposal workshop, "The Psyche of the Evangelical Mind: Integrations of Psychology and Christianity in Southern California, 1950-2000." 

Spring 2017

  • 1/26 Kevin Rose, graduate student, Department of Religious Studies, UVA. Workshop article manuscript: "'The world food crisis is not a fad': The More-with-Less Cookbook and Protestant Environmental Spirituality, 1970-1980." 
  • 2/9 Isaac May, graduate student, Department of Religious Studies, UVA. Workshop dissertation proposal: "God-optional: Liberal Religion and the Issue of Theism, 1920- 1965." 
  • 3/9 Douglas Laycock,  Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law and Class of 1963 Research Professor of Religious Studies, discussion on religion and law.  
  • 3/16 John Turner, Department of Religious Studies, George Mason University. Research talk: TBA. 
  • 4/6 Micah Schwartzman, Professor of Law, discussion on religion and law.  
  • 4/27 Samira Mehta. Department of Religious Studies, Albright College. Research talk.

Fall 2016

  • 8/30 Bradley Kime, graduate student, Department of Religious Studies, UVA. Workshop article manuscript: "Infidel Deathbeds: Irreligious Dying and Authentic Disbelief in Nineteenth-Century America.” 
  • 9/13 Jesse Robinson, graduate student, Department of Religious Studies, UVA. Conference paper presentation: "The Civil Rights Movement as Biblical Drama: The King Preaches the Word.” 
  • 9/27 Prof. Kip Kosek, Department of American Studies, George Washington University. Research talk:  "Catholics and Capitalism in the Great Depression.” 
  • 10/11 Colloquium discussion: Leigh Eric Schmidt, Village Atheists: How America's Unbelievers Made Their Way in a Godly Nation (Princeton University Press, 2016). 
  • 10/31 Isaac May, graduate student, Department of Religious Studies, UVA. Conference paper presentation: "Permitting a Godless Faith: U.S. v. Seeger and the Changing Notion of the Deity in American Law." 

Spring 2016

  • 1/25 Guy Aiken, graduate student, Department of Religious Studies, UVA. Workshop, introduction to dissertation, “A History of Quaker Pacifist Neutrality.”
  • 2/5 Mae Speight, graduate student, Department of Religious Studies, UVA. Workshop, conference paper presentation, ‘Same Sex Attraction and the Saints: The Emerging Mormon Discourse of Sexual Identity.”
  • 2/19 Isaac May, graduate student, Department of Religious Studies, UVA. Workshop, chapter in edited volume, ‘1809-1920,’ Cambridge Companion to Quaker Studies.
  • 3/4 Prof. Matthew Hedstrom, Department of Religious Studies, UVA. Workshop of conference paper presentation, “Buddhist Fulfillment of a Protestant Dream: Mindfulness as Scientific Spirituality.”
  • 3/18 Jonathan Cohen, graduate student, Department of History, UVA. Workshop, dissertation chapter, “‘Not Luck, But the Work of God’: Lottery Playing and the Religion of the New American Meritocracy.”
  • 4/1 Prof. Lincoln Mullen, George Mason University. Workshop of book manuscript intro and chapter 1, The Varieties of Religious Conversion: The Origins of Religious Choice in the United States.
  • 4/15 Prof. Rita Hermon-Belot, Centre for Studies in the Social Sciences of Religion of the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS- CéSor) in Paris. Discussion of pre-circulated paper, “Religious Diversity in the Making of French Laïcité.”
  • 4/22 Prof. Alan Taylor, UVA Department of History. Open conversation on narrative and historical writing.