In addition to teaching, RELS faculty are renowned researchers!  Here's an overview of their recent scholarly accomplishments:


In the fall of 2023, Prof. Amoruso presented a paper entitled “Forgetting Things: Memory and Erasure in the Afflicted City” at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting. That paper drew from research conducted for his forthcoming manuscript, Moved by the Dead, which was recently accepted for publication by University of North Carolina Press and is scheduled to appear in print in Spring 2025. 


Prof. Khan also presented a paper titled “The Shari’a Compliant Muslim: Religious but not Racial” at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting. Prof. Khan also traveled to Pakistan in December 2023 as a Senior Fellow of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS) to conduct fieldwork for his first book, Translating Capitalism: How Muslim Jurists and Bankers Invented Shari‘a Compliance. While in Pakistan, Professor Khan delivered a talk on his book project at the Gujranwala Institute of Future Technology (GIFT). 


Book cover: Dental Distress in the Ancient Mediterranean

Prof. Upson-Saia was an invited speaker at Columbia University’s Classics Colloquium, where she gave a talk on her new research project on dental distress in the ancient Mediterranean. She was also awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to work on this project.  

How does plastic inspire and remake spiritual aspirations? Prof. Holmes-Tagchungdarpa explored this idea in an article published in the journal Worldwide Waste entitled “Preserving Offerings, Prolonging Merit: Efficacy, Skilful Means, and Re-purposing in Plastic Buddhist Material Culture in Contemporary Sikkim.” The article demonstrates how, despite bans on single-use plastic in India, human communities in the Indian Himalayan state of Sikkim continue to engage with plastic objects as mediums for ritual communication with more-than-human beings. Prof. Holmes-Tagchungdarpa argues that the ability for plastics to be re-purposed and recycled allow for Buddhist communities to exercise their own agency in determining the efficacy of material culture, and in response to anxieties people have about plastic waste in the Himalayas.

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