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. My work uses lenses from women's studies and material studies to trace the interplay of bodies, things, spaces, and words in these social situations.
My first book, Mission Station Christianity (2013), examined the impact of place-making on understandings of Christianity in colonial Southern Africa, including gendered and racial divisions. My current book project has the provisional working title Women and Words in Christianity. It explores the often problematic connection between "women" and "words," and 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 organizations. 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: subject, scholars, students. 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 anthropology, and I have started conducting classroom studies on student reading at university (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 global Christianity, women in Christian history, and women and religion.
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