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Kristin Bloomer

Kristin Bloomer

Education & Professional History

Wesleyan University, BA; Cambridge University, BA, MA; University of Montana, MFA; University of Chicago, MA, PhD.

Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, University of Hawaii-Manoa, 2008-2010.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and South Asian Religions, Harvard University, 2012-13.

At Carleton since 2010.

Languages Spoken

Organizations & Scholarly Affiliations

American Academy of Religion, Society of Hindu-Christian Studies, American Council of Learned Societies, American Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) India Program, ISLE Representative, American Institute of Indian Studies Representative.

As Listed on Department Faculty Pages

Religion

Kristin Bloomer (Wesleyan University, B.A; University of Montana, M.F.A; Cambridge University, B.A, M.A; University of Chicago, Ph.D.) teaches courses in Christianities and religions of South Asia, with specializations in spirit possession and women's and gender studies. Her research pertains to Christianity, Hinduism, and spirit possession in postcolonial south India; her more general interests lie in exploring historically specific articulations of subjectivity, with particular attention to religiosity, gender, and embodiment. She is the author of Possessed by the Virgin:  Hinduism, Roman Catholicism, and Marian Spirit Possession in South India (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2018), a book about Marian spirit possession in Tamil Nadu, India's most southeastern state.  She is currently working on another research project about Hindu family deities and their attendant possession practices. Theoretically, her work addresses questions of religion and postcoloniality, ritual and performativity, feminist approaches to ethnography, and relationships between religion, gender, and the body. Her methods aim to explore and interrogate ideas of agency and of subjectivity that pertain not only to the postcolonial "Other," but also to the anthropologist-scholar.  At Carleton, she is affiliated with the Women and Gender Studies Program and is Coordinator of South Asian Studies.

Bloomer's academic publications include: "Comparative Theology, Comparative Religion, and Hindu-Christian Studies: Ethnography as Method," in The Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies: Ethnography as Method in The Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies, 2008; "Notes From the Field: Retrieving the Dead," The Martin Marty Center for Religion and Culture Web Forum, University of Chicago, February 2005; and other articles and book reviews.

Before entering academia, she worked for several years as a print journalist and earned an M.F.A. in non-fiction writing. From 2012-2013, she served at Harvard University's Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and South Asian Religions and Research Associate with the Women's Studies in Religion Program.  She is a 2013 fellow with the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).  Prior to Carleton, she served as Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, where she learned to surf - a skill that has come in handy, even in Minnesota.

Asian Studies

Kristin Bloomer (Wesleyan University, B.A; University of Montana, M.F.A; Cambridge University, B.A, M.A; University of Chicago, Ph.D) teaches courses in global Christianities and religions of South Asia, with specializations in spirit possession and women's and gender studies. Her research pertains to Christianity, Hinduism, and spirit possession in postcolonial south India; her more general interests lie in exploring historically specific articulations of subjectivity, with particular attention to religiosity, gender, and embodiment. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled "Possessed by Mary: Hinduism, Catholicism and Spirit Possession in Contemporary Tamil Nadu, South India," an ethnography of Marian spirit possession in India's most southeastern state. Theoretically, her work addresses questions of religion and postcoloniality, ritual and performativity, feminist approaches to ethnography, and relationships between religion, gender, and the body. Her methods aim to explore and interrogate ideas of agency and of subjectivity that pertain not only to the postcolonial "Other," but also to the anthropologist-scholar.

Bloomer's academic publications include: "Comparative Theology, Comparative Religions, and Hindu-Christian Studies: Ethnography as Method," in The Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies, 2008; "Notes From the Field: Retrieving the Dead," The Martin Marty Center for Religion and Culture Web Forum, University of Chicago, February 2005, "http://marty-center.uchicago.edu/webforum/022005/index.shtml"; and several book reviews.

Before entering academia, she worked for several years as a print journalist and earned an M.F.A. in non-fiction writing. 

Profile updated October 3, 2017

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