I am a cultural and historical anthropologist of religion. I am especially interested in the many different histories, cultural practices, and social effects of Christianity in the world. My work uses lenses from women's studies and material studies to trace the interplay of bodies, things, spaces, and words in particular social situations.
My first book, Mission Station Christianity (2013), examined how place-making practices on and around new "mission stations" shaped understandings of Christianity, gender, and race in colonial Southern Africa. My current book project has the provisional working title Women and Words in Christianity. It explores the often problematic connection between "women" and "words." I focus on a case study of the so-called "mission feminists" in early-twentieth-century Norway - a group of women who used new language practices (new ways of speaking, listening, reading, and writing) to advocate for women's greater status in Christian mission organizations, with a variety of contradictory effects. In the future, I hope to publish more on the question of organized Christianity - that is, how Christianity is "organized" in organizations, including how this locks together changes in knowledge practices with changes in practices of femininity and masculinity.
I have also begun a new line of research on reading. This research has several strands. In addition to coming across reading as an important social practice in my historical research on women, I have become interested in reading as a scholarly method in cultural anthropology, and I have also started conducting classroom studies on undergraduate student reading in the humanities (drawing on the anthropology of learning, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - SOTL).
I teach at the University of Georgia, where my classes include an introductory class on "religions of the world," and upper-level classes on Christianity around the world, women in Christian history, and women in world religions.
If you work on similar research topics, please feel free to get in touch. I can be contacted on twitter @IngieHovland and via email at:
ingiehovland [at] uga [dot] edu