Holstein Dissertation Fellows 2022-2023

David Carrillo-Rangel

David Carrillo-Rangel, Universitetet i Bergen, Norway, is a Ph.D. Fellow at the Institutt for lingvistiske, litterære og estetiske studier. Eir dissertation is titled Performing Visions: Queer Visionary Discourses, Materiality and Authority in Birgitta of Sweden’s Revelations in the 14th and 15th Centuries, in which e applies queer theory and queer/indecent theology to manuscript studies and contemporary art. E has published various articles on medieval spirituality, and comparative literature. E has co-edited the volumes Sensual and Sensory Experiences in the Middle Ages, and Touching, Devotional Practices, and Visionary Experience in the Late Middle Ages, to which e also contributed.  E has a special interest in research dissemination and has been involved in different activities to engage both with the contemporary culture and a broader audience, like the exhibition Decriminalizing History which will open at the Humanities Library University of Bergen this fall, juxtaposing queer voices to historical sources.

Mentor: Bryan Keene

Learned Foote

Learned Foote is a Ph.D. candidate at Rice University completing a dissertation on the Tibetan language auto/biographies of Adzom Drukpa. He completed his Bachelor in History at Columbia University in 2011 and his Master of Arts in Eastern Classics from St. John’s College. He has taught undergraduate courses at Rice in Buddhist studies, Tibetan studies, and colloquial and classical Tibetan. He is now co-editing a volume with Columbia University Press with his advisor Jeff Kripal, and a volume with Wisdom Publications with his advisor Anne Klein.

Mentor: Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa

Dusty Gavin

Dusty Gavin (he/him) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Departments of Religious Studies and African American Studies at Yale University. Dusty’s research contests Protestant idioms of the sacred and profane to examine the histories, aesthetics, and embodied performances of black women, femmes, and butch queens across U.S. Southern regions. His dissertation, “If You Buck: The Politics and Possibilities of the Beat,” engages with j-sette and majorette dance to explore how these fleshy movement practices create queer spaces, logics, and intimacies, while funking up our conceptions of Southern blackfemme embodiment.

Mentor: Omise’eke Tinsley

Mie Astrup Jensen

Mie Astrup Jensen (she/her) is an ESRC-funded Ph.D. candidate and post-graduate teaching assistant in Gender & Sexuality Studies and Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London. Mie’s intellectual interests lie in the sociology of religion, lived religion, Jewish studies, gender & sexuality studies, and queer theory. Her Ph.D. focuses on non-heterosexual Jewish women’s lived experiences and practices in England and Israel, with the aim to understand how non-heterosexual Jewish women live their lives at home and in religious settings, whether there are differences between and within Israeli and English non-heterosexual Jewry, and the extent to which the couple-norm and procreative-norm influence non-heterosexual Jewish women’s lived experiences. Mie has written and delivered numerous papers and talks on gender, sexuality, and Jewishness. Her most recent journal article, ‘Gendering Experiences of Anti-Semitism: A Quantitative Analysis of Discrimination in Europe’ was published in the European Journal of Jewish Studies. Mie has taught courses on gender and sexuality and teaching in diverse cultures and communities.

Mentor: Jennifer Thompson

Evan Marsolek

Evan Marsolek is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Integrative Study in Ethics and Theology at Loyola University Chicago. His research interests bring together critical queer and trans politics and theories with theo-ethical constructions of queer theology. Their other research interests include continental philosophies of religion, psychoanalysis, and negativity. Evan also has a passion for theological and religious pedagogy. His dissertation takes up the theories of Paul B. Preciado, specifically dildotechtonics, to interrogate how Christ/ology is manipulated within theological constructions to shape inclusion/exclusion mechanisms; tentatively titled “Christotechtonics: Dildonic Plasticity in Theological Formulations.” Evan holds degrees from Concordia College – Moorhead, MN (B.A. in Religion) and Luther Seminary – St. Paul, MN (M.A. Old Testament).

Mentor: Melissa Pagán

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Religion Department at Princeton University and is also pursuing a certificate through Princeton’s Gender and Sexuality Studies program. They are interested in the intersection of Islam, secularism, and queer activism in South Asia. Their dissertation examines how queer activists in northern India navigate secular and religious pressures, with a particular focus on the role that Islam plays for both Muslim and non-Muslim queer activists.

Mentor: Sahin Acikgoz