Two virtual events will take place this fall as part of the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Lecture Series at Virginia Commonwealth University. One will focus on religion among migrant workers and the other will explore the body languages ​​Catholics use to express their devotion.

Hosted by the School of World Studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences, the lecture series features speakers taking a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to Catholicism. The series is curated and hosted by R. Andrew Chestnut, Ph.D., Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at VCU.

Both events will take place via Zoom and will be free and open to the public.

“An anthropology of religion and the conditioning of meat: what we learn about migrants when we go to work”
Kristy nabhan warren, Ph.D., professor and holder of the VO and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Chair in Catholic Studies

Monday, September 27, 4 p.m., bit.ly/Bishop927

Nabhan-Warren’s published work focuses on American Catholicism, the religion lived by Latinx, ethnographic methods in the study of North American religions, youth and religion, and women and American religion. She is the author of “The Virgin of El Barrio: Marian Apparitions, Catholic Evangelization, and Mexican-American Activism”, an in-depth ethnography of a Mexican-American Catholic community and its devotions to the Virgin Mary and activism inspired by the apparitions.

She is also the author of the upcoming “Cornbelt Religion: The Work of Faith in the Heartland”, an ethnographic and historically situated study of the religion experienced in the Corn Belt States. She argues that if we are to understand the intersectionality of migration, labor, and religion in the United States today, we must focus on states like Iowa and the wider Midwestern Corn Belt. In “Cornbelt America”, Nabhan-Warren argues for the study of small towns and rural areas. Additionally, in order to understand the complex dynamics of religion, researchers must explore places long neglected as religious sites, such as slaughterhouses and agricultural fields.

“The devotion and body languages ​​of Catholicism”
Alyssa Maldonado-Estrada, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Religion at Kalamazoo College

Tuesday, October 5, 4 p.m., bit.ly/Bishop1005

Maldonado-Estrada teaches courses on religion and masculinity, Catholics in the Americas, urban religion, and religions in Latin America. She is an ethnographer and her research focuses on material culture, contemporary Catholicism, and gender and incarnation. She is the author of “Lifeblood of the Parish: Men and Catholic Devotion in Williamsburg, Brooklyn”, an ethnography on masculinity and the devotional life of men in a gentrified New York neighborhood. Maldonado-Estrada is currently working on a Devotional Technologies project that explores Catholic entrepreneurs and innovation.


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