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Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and South Asian Religions and WSRP Research Associate
56 Francis Ave.
Kristin Bloomer (BA, Wesleyan University; MFA, University of Montana; BA, MA, Cambridge University; MA, PhD, University of Chicago) is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. She teaches courses on religion and the body, world Christianities, religions of South Asia, and women's and gender studies. Her research pertains to Hinduism, Roman Catholicism, 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, ritual, and embodiment. Her book manuscript, "Possessed by Mary: Hinduism, Catholicism, and Spirit Possession in Contemporary Tamil Nadu, South India," is an ethnography of Marian spirit possession in India's most southeastern state. Her methods aim to explore and problematize 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 "Hermeneutics," in Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology: An Encyclopedia, eds. Richard Warms and John McGee (SAGE, forthcoming); "Comparative Theology, Comparative Religions, and Hindu-Christian Studies: Ethnography as Method," in The Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies, 2008; and "Notes from the Field: Retrieving the Dead," The Martin Marty Center for Religion and Culture Web Forum, University of Chicago, February 2005.
Before entering academia, she earned an MFA in nonfiction writing and worked for several years as a print journalist. Following her PhD at the University of Chicago, she taught as an assistant professor of religion at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she was affiliated with Women's Studies and the Center for South Asian Studies. It was there she learned—among various other thrilling adventures—how to surf. These skills remain surprisingly useful, even in the Midwest.