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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
April 18, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Student Profiles & Conference Presentations

Students who have completed the PhD

2008: Joanne Benham Rennick, "Religion in the Ranks: Religion in the Canadian Military in the 21 Century" Supervisor: David Seljak.

2009: Patricia Campbell, "Buddhist Practice: Learning through Ritualizing" Supervisor: Ron Grimes.

2009: Andrew Atkinson, "Salt Water Sacriments and Blackwoods Sins:Contemporary Atlantic Canadian Literature and Catholicism" Supervisor: Peter Erb.

2010: Holly Pearse, "Where will They Build Their Nest?: Jewish Gentile Romances in North American Cinema and the Construction of Jewish Identity" Supervisor: Faydra Shapiro.

2010: David Feltmate, "Springfield's Sacred Canopy" Supervisor: Douglas E. Cowan.

2010: Mitra Bhikkhu, ""Dharma Education: The Transmission and Transformation of Sinhala Thervada Buddhism in Toronto" Supervisor: Kay Koppedrayer.

2011: Siobhan Chandler, "The Social Ethic of Religious Unaffiliated Spirituality" Supervisor: Lorne Dawson.

2011:  Brent Hagerman, "You Can't Go to Zion with a Carnal Mind: The Religious Thought, Morality and Sexual Ethics of King Yellowman" Supervisor: Carol Duncan.

2011: Margie Patrick "Playing for Keeps: The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada in the Public Sphere, 1983-2006". Supervisor: Scott Kline

2012:  Rory Dickson, "Living Sufism in North America: Between Tradition and Transformation." Supervisor: Meena Sharify-Funk

2012: Lauren Price, "Regulation of Religious Others within the Zero Institution of Canadian Multiculturalism: A Critical Cultural Psychoanalytic Study." Supervisor: Chris Ross

2012: Adam Stewart, "Quenching the Spirit: The Transformation of Religious Identity and Experience in three Canadian  Pentecostal Churches." Supervisor: David Seljak

2012: Ryan Weston, "'It's Not Like Going to Church and Singing a Hymn': Performance, Identity, and Canadian Gospel Music." Supervisor: Carol Duncan

2012: Marybeth White, "Enlivening the Buddha: Laying the Foundations for the Re-Creation of Lao Buddhism in Canada." Supervisor: Janet McLellan

2013: Amarnath Amarasingam, "Pain. Pride, and Politics: Social Movement Activism and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada." Supervisor: Lorne Dawson

2013: Ali Albarghouthi,  "Interpreting on the Fault Lines: Ijtihad and Religious Interpretation among Muslim Academics and Community Leaders in North America." Supervisor: Meena Sharify-Funk


2013: Nick Shrubsole, "Religion, Land and Democracy in Canadian Indigenous-State Relations". Supervisor: Scott Kline




"Christian Environmentalism in Rural Ontario: An Examination of Christian Agricultural Stewardship through the work of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario"

Supervisor: Dr. Michel Desjardins.


"Intervangelism:  Interaction, Experience, and Authority"

Supervisor:  Dr. Douglas E. Cowan

 I have one publication, and two dictionary enteries:

From 'Televangelist' to 'Intervangelist': The Emergence of the Streaming Video Preacher." Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 23, no. 2 (2011): 101-117.

Baptism". In Michael Gilmour and Mary Ann Beavis (eds.), Dictionary of the Bible and Western Culture (Waco: Baylor University Press, forthcoming 2012)

Born Again". In Michael Gilmour and Mary Ann Beavis (eds.), Dictionary of the Bible and Western Culture (Waco: Baylor University Press, forthcoming 2012)

My conference presentations are:

"Unfaithful Fans of Televangelists: Between Recreational Christianity and Antifandom": Religion and Popular Culture group, American Academy of Religion, Chicago, IL, November 2012

"Muscle Suits and Farting Preachers: Satirical Videos of Televangelists": Humor, Commentary and Consequence group, International Conference on Digital Religion, Boulder, CO, January 2012

"The Diversity of Intervangelist Ministries: From Online "Start-ups" to Internet Campuses": Religion and Popular Culture group, American Academy of Religion, San Francisco, CA, November 2011

"The 'Lucky Loonie' and the 'Golden Puck': Canada's Civil Religious Hockey Relics": Religion and Embodied Practices unit, Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, Fredericton, NB, May 2011

"The Struggle for Religious Authority in Dynamic Web 2.0 Environments: The Case of Todd Bentley": Social Networks unit, Conference on Media, Religion, and Culture, Toronto, ON, August 2010

"From 'Televangelist' to 'Intervangelist': The Rise of the Streaming Video Preacher": Christian Congregations unit, Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, Montréal, QC, May 2010


Areas of Interest: Mormonism

Supervisor: Jeff Wilson

Conference Presentations:

"Playing Lawyer with Plural Marriage: Rethinking Past Papers and Arguments in Favour of Decriminalization," 47th Annual Conference, Jun  28-Jul 1, 2012, Calgary, Alberta, Mormon History Association.

"Alberta's Wild Rose: The Life and Times of Zina Woolf Hickman," Research in Religious Studies Conference, May 5-6, 2012, University of Lethbridge, Religious Studies Department.

"Virtuous Vampires and Monstrous Missionaries," Visual Impetus XV, Jan 27, 2012, University of Victoria, History in Art.

"Space and Place in the Westward Journey: Applying Critical Regionalism to C.C.A. Christensen's Mormon Panorama," 65th Annual RMMLA Convention, Oct 7 2011, Scottsdale, Arizona, Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association.

"Popular Bodies: How Humans, Vampires, and Shape Shifters Represent the Sacred in the Twilight Saga," Mormon Scholars in the Humanities Annual Conference, Mar 26 2011, Utah Valley University, Mormon Scholars in the Humanities.

"Vampire Rules Aren't Enough for You? You Want to Worry About the Human Ones Too?" Association for Mormon Letters' 2011 Annual Meeting, Mar 25 2011, Utah Valley University, Association for Mormon Letters.

"The Fihrist of Al-Nadim," Visual Impetus XIV, Jan 28 2011, University of Victoria, History in Art.



Supervisor: Dr. Scott Kline

Research Interests: My research interests lie predominately in the field of religion and politics, focusing on the Christian Right and Conspiracy Theorists within virtual realms, issues of Church and state and the impact of the rise of Christianity during Millennial Periods and the concept of utopia as a Fascist state. Another strong area of interest is gender issues and sexuality within Complimentarian Christian relationships.

Conference Presentations:

2012 Conference Presentation: Christian Domestic Discipline - A study of Christian Female Submissive Sexuality Vs. 50 Shades of Grey to the 5th International SELICUP Conference: ``Multidisciplinary Views on Popular Culture,'' Spain, October 2012

2012 Accepted Paper for Presentation: Christian Domestic Discipline - A Study of Female Submissive  Sexuality and Christian Ethics to Media Religion Culture 2012 Conference, Turkey, July, 2012


"Constraining Sharia: Practices, Policies and Responses to Faith-based Arbitration in Ontario"

Supervisor: David Seljak

DEWJI, Sahir



"Contemporary Religion in the Context of the Affect Economy"

Supervisor: Lorne Dawson

MUNRO, Yasaman

"Situating Ayurveda among Hindus in Waterloo Region, Canada: Domestic, Relational and Material Perspectives"

Supervisor: Dr. Jason Neelis

Description of dissertation: Yasaman's doctoral research focuses on relational and material dimensions of Ayurveda and associated South Asian medical modalities unfolding in the domestic spaces of Hindus in the Waterloo Region of Canada. In particular, she is tracing how the health and healing ideas and practices manifesting among these people in these spaces are linked to ideas and practices elsewhere and at other times, and what these can tell us about people's religious and their relationships both with and within non-human worlds. More broadly, Yasaman's work examines intersections between what we call "religion," and health and healing from a multidisciplinary approach.

Conference presentations:

"Mandir Medical Networks: Situating Ayurveda as a Sustained Argument among Hindu Immigrants in Canada." American Academy of Religion (November 17-20, 2012).

"Interpreting Domestic, Relational and Material Ayurveda among Hindu Immigrants in Canada." Panel: Religious Diversity and Identity Negotiation in North American Spaces. Congress 2012, Société Canadienne pour l'Étude de la Religion/Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, Waterloo, ON (May 26-29, 2012).

"Interpreting Lived Ayurveda Among Hindu Immigrants in Canada: Domestic, Relational and Material Perspectives." Panel: Religion and Concepts of Health in Asia. Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Toronto, ON (March 15-18, 2012).

"Place, Relationship, Material, and Diversity: Interpreting Ayurveda among Hindu Immigrants in Waterloo Region, Canada." University of Toronto Graduate Student Conference on South Asian Religions-"Crossing Boundaries: Texts, Traditions, Temporalities" (September 23-24, 2011).

"Substituting for Religion in Tweed's Theory of Religion: Ayurveda and the Academic Study of Hinduism(s) in Canada as Case Study." Panel: Religion and Theory. Congress 2011, Société Canadienne pour l'Étude de la Religion/Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, St. Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB (May 28-31, 2011).

"In Crossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion." Panel: Geographies of Homogeneity and Difference. Assessing the Complexities of South Asian Migration Conference, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON (May 19-21, 2011).

"Members of Which Sikhism? The Politics of Recognition in Recent Canadian Sikh Debates." Panel: Racism. The Association for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association Joint Annual Conference-"Ethnicity, Governance and Social Justice: Linking Canada to the World," Toronto, Canada (November 5-6, 2010).

"Consequences of Hindutva Nationalism: Fettered Ethno-Religious Pluralism in India and in the Indian Diaspora." Wilfrid Laurier University 7th Annual Interdisciplinary Arts Conference-"Hope: Uncertainty, Pluralism, and Innovation" Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON (March 27, 2010).

McKEEN, Leah

"Canadian Christian Nationalism?: Exploring the Christian Heritage Party of Canada Regionally and Internationally"

Co-Supervisors: Paul Freston & Jeff Wilson

My areas of interest are: religion and politics, Conservative Christianity, and sexuality and religion (i.e. debates around sex education, abortion, and same-sex marriage).

Conference Presentations:

Dutch Immigrants and Pillarization in Contemporary Canada. Co-authored with Suzanne Armstrong (Wilfrid Laurier University). SSSR Annual Meeting. Phoenix, Arizona (upcoming - November 2012)

Canadian Christian Politics: Between Europe and the United States. CSSR/Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Science. Annual conference. Wilfrid Laurier University (May 2012)

Education and Conservative Christian Politics. AAR-Eastern International Region. Annual conference. University of Waterloo/Wilfrid Laurier University (May 2012)

Education and Christian Politics. Religion and Public Life Conference. Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON. (March 2012).

The Christian Heritage Party of Canada: How Fieldwork Alters Research. Research Day 2011. Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON. (November 2011)

Canada Religiously and Politically Between Europe and the United States. Religion in Political Context: Rethinking and Reevaluating Political Structures in the 21st Century. McGill-CREOR Graduate Students' Conference. McGill University, Montreal. (October 2011)

Evangelical Women and Theories of Agency. Feminist Rethinkings: Evolution and Strategic Essentialism (session), Feminist Theory and Religious Reflection Group. AAR Annual conference. Atlanta, Georgia. (October/November 2010)

Lost in Translation: Speaking Religion Across Disciplines. CSSR/Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Annual conference. Concordia University, Montreal. (May 2010)



PUETT, Tiffany

"The Political Discourse of Religious Pluralism: World Religions Textbooks, Liberalism, and Civic Identities."

 Supervisor:  Dr. David Seljak

Conference Presentations:

November 2012, "Managing Religions: Religious Pluralism, Liberalism, and Governmentality," Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Cultural History of the Study of Religion Group, Chicago, IL

May 2012, "Orchestrating Social Harmony: Religious Pluralism, Civic Identities and Governmentality," Understanding Religious Pluralism conference, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

November 2009, "Religion and Citizenship: Navigating Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion," Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Religion, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism Group, Montreal, QB

READ, Jamie Anne

"Sharing the Smartboard: Normative Pluralism in Québec Jewish Education"

Supervisor: David Seljak

Conference Presentations:

"Secular Objections to Compulsory Religious Pluralism Courses in Québec Public Education," Understanding Religious Pluralism conference, Georgetown University, May 23-25, 2012.

"Opposing a Nation: The Case of Québec's 'Ethics and Religious Culture' Compulsory Curriculum," American Academy of Religion-Eastern International Region, Annual Meeting, University of Waterloo, May 6-7, 2012.

"Constructive Conflict: Religion, Nationalism and Discord at Concordia University," Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, Annual Meeting, Concordia University, May 29-June 1, 2010.

"When Soldiers Speak: From Acts of Violence to Open Communication," Fighting Religion: Expressions of Violence and Resistance conference, University of Toronto, April 16, 2010.

Upcoming Papers

"Religious Reservations of Québec's 'Ethics and Religious Culture' Compulsory Curriculum," American Academy of Religion Conference, Chicago, November 17-20, 2012.

RIDDELL, Kathleen


RIGOTTI, Elizabeth



"The Megachurch for People not Into Megachurch': Identity, Authority, and the Carnivalesque in Bruxy Cavey's Meeting House"

Supervisor: Dr. Douglas E. Cowan

Interests: megachurches, evangelicalism, religious marketing, popular
culture, ethnography

Conference Presentations:

"Tracing the Irreligious Quest in Evangelicalism: The Case of Bruxy Cavey and The Meeting House," Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, Wilfrid Laurier University, June 1, 2011.

"The Rebel Brand in Evangelical Megachurches: A Canadian "Emerging Church" Religion and Popular Culture Group, American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, November 20, 2011.

"The End of Religion? The Meeting House Megachurch and Marketing New Spirituality" American Academy of Religion Regional Conference, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, May 8, 2010.

"Religion and Spirituality at Bruxy Cavey's Meeting House"
Interdisciplinary Arts Conference, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo,
Ontario, March 27, 2010.


"Religion, Land and Democracy in Canadian Indigenous-State Relations"

Supervisor: Dr. Scott Kline

Conference Presentations:

Shrubsole, N. Property, Religion, and the Legal Relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the Canadian State: Historical Roots and Contemporary Issues, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, upcoming, November 2011.

Shrubsole, N. The Sun Dance and Violent Resistance: Healing through Political Action at Gustafsen Lake and Wounded Knee, Religion and Public Life Conference, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, February 2011.

Shrubsole, N. Mining for Nickel in Sacred Space: the Innu and Voisey's Bay, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences/Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, Montreal, PQ, June 2010.

Shrubsole, N. Panellist for 'Aboriginal Peoples, Religion, and Public Dialogue in Canada,' American Academy of Religion Eastern International Regional Meeting, Ottawa, ON, May 2010

Shrubsole, N. The Limits of the Deliberative Democratic Process: Negotiating First Nations' Sacred Space, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Montreal PQ, November 2009.

Shrubsole, N. Forced "Deprivatization" and the Public Conditions of Religion: First Nations Sacred Sites in Canada's Courts, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Montreal PQ, November 2009.



THOMA, Emily

"Negotiating Identity: The Greek Orthodox of Kitchener-Waterloo."

Supervisor: Myroslaw Tataryn

WALL, Scott

"Every Tribe and Nation: Second-Generation Immigrant, English-speaking Chinese Evangelicals and the Construction of Identity"
Supervisor: Dr. David Seljak
Areas of interest: My interests span three broad areas: Christianity in North America, multiculturalism, and immigration/transnationalism. In my dissertation research, I am exploring how second-generation immigrant evangelicals in Canada are negotiating the tension between their personal identities, the broader evangelical subculture in North America, and Canada's pluralist and secularized society.

Conference Presentations:
"'We are multicultural': Religious Identity and Canadian Pluralism", CSSR Meetings, Waterloo, ON, May 2012.


"Islam and salaam: the Sufism of Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen and His Legacy of Fellowship in North America and Sri Lanka"

Supervisor:  Dr. Meena Sharify-Funk

YOUNG, Rachel

"Integration and Ingestion: Food, Drink and Religious Identity in North African Muslim Communities in Paris and Montreal"

Supervisor is Michel Desjardins

Conference Presentations:
May 29, 2012:Conference Presentation, "Islam in Canadian Domestic Space: Negotiating Identity through Food Practice." Canadian Society for the Study of Religion (CSSR) Annual Conference. University of Waterloo/Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario. May 25-29, 2012.
Sept. 7, 2011: Invited Talk, "Making the Most of Graduate Studies - Getting a Job in the Private/Not for Profit Sector." Graduate Student Association, Graduate Student Orientation.
May 8,2010: Conference Presentation, "We Are What We Eat: The Use of Food as Religious Identity Marker in Orsi's The Madonna of 115th Street." American Academy of Religion: Eastern International Regional meeting. University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario. May 7-8, 2010