about

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, a Fellow with the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University’s Religion and the Global Framing of Gender Violence project, and a Visiting Scholar at The Center for Religion and Media at New York University. My research projects, all strongly ethnographic, have examined the intersections of race, religion, gender, and activism, with particular attention to the carceral state, domestic land grabs, and disaster capitalism. Through interdisciplinary and community-based methods, I center the often-hidden histories, practices, and geographies of struggle in America’s zones of abandonment, and ask how visions for living otherwise become actionable. My research has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Institute for Religion, Culture, & Public Life, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

LauraMcTigheI come to my doctoral studies through twenty years of grassroots work to end state violence and advance community healing. As a longtime activist/scholar, I am committed to fostering reciprocal relationships among academics, activists, journalists, artists, and other visionary practitioners. I co-founded Philadelphia FIGHT’s Institute for Community Justice, the national Religion and Incarceration activist/academic forum, and Women With A Vision’s Front Porch Research Strategy in New Orleans, among others. Additionally, I have served as a Board Member to Men & Women In Prison Ministries in Chicago and Reconstruction Inc. in Philadelphia since 2010.