Steering Committee

My name is Julie Allen.


I’m a Professor of Comparative Arts and Letters at BYU; before that, I worked in the Scandinavian Studies department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for ten years. Most of my research has focused on questions of national and cultural identity, particularly in Denmark and among Danish American immigrants.



My name is Fred Axelgard.


I’m an internationalist at heart, and this informs pretty much everything I do. My degrees are in political science and international relations. I spent 5 years in the 90’s as a negotiator in Arab-Israeli peace issues, and lived in Saudi Arabia for 4 years after that. My wife and I have 5 children and 13 grandchildren, 7 of whom are in Germany or India.



My name is Carter Charles.


I was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. My father named me Carter because like many Haitians, he loved things Americans. I tend to think of myself as a socio-historian, a term used in some academic circles in France to refer to scholars who approach a research subject from a trans-disciplinary perspective. My Ph.D is in American Studies and focused on the political integration of Mormons in the United States from Reed Smoot to Mitt Romney (2013).


My name is Gina Colvin.


Kia ora tātou! I belong to Ngāti Porou and Ngā Puhi.  I’m a discourse analyst, auto ethnographer, narrative inquirer, cultural studies and media analyst, and a post-colonial, indigenous decolonizer by methodology.



My name is Amy Hoyt.


I am a scholar, activist and a mom of 5 kids (ages 13 ,9, 7, 4, and 4,). I am affiliated with the University of the Pacific, a small liberal arts college in northern California, and have been there for 10 years. My passion is gender, religion and justice. My current work is in Rwanda, where I co-lead a team of scholars on several projects, including how women use religion as a resource for reconciliation.


My name is David Howlett.

My research consistently engages various forms of religious mobility: e.g., pilgrimage journeys, changing understandings of sacred places, transnational connections between groups, and religious conversion. Trained initially as a historian of religions in North America, I have increasingly brought the latter field into dialogue with globalization studies.

Aloha! Chiung Hwang Chen here.


I am a professor at BYU Hawaii. My main research interests include gender, race, religion, and political issues in media and cultural studies. I have two daughters: one is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, and another in high school. My husband, Ethan Yorgason, is a cultural geographer and also keen on Mormon studies.


My name is Thomas Murphy.


I have a B.A. in religion and anthropology from the U. of Iowa (1994) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from U. of Washington (1996, 2003). I currently lead the Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School at Edmonds CC in Lynnwood, WA.



My name is James Perry.


I am currently based at Lancaster University, where I am an Associate Lecturer and doctoral candidate in the History Department.



My name is Chrystal Vanel.


 I am a postdoctoral researcher (GSRL-Paris). I have a PhD in Sociology (EPHE-Sorbonne), an MA in Religious Studies (EPHE-Sorbonne), a BA in History (University Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne) and I am currently completing a BA in theology (University of Geneva). I also studied and taught at Washington University in St Louis (Fall Semester 2007).



My name is Sujey Vega.


I’m an Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University. My primarily research focus explores Latina/o immigrant communities in the United States, with a specific interest on religious social networks and ethnic belonging to cultures/nations across borders.



My name is Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye.


I’m a fourth-generation Chinese-Japanese American. My Chinese great-grandfather came to the US from Guangdong province as a “paper son” and established himself as a farmer in Utah, where he was known as “the Celery King”. My major research field is the history of Christianity in China. I am particularly interested in the intersection of miraculous discourse with global modernity.