The Women’s Studies in Religion Program (WSRP) at Harvard Divinity School (HDS) has announced its five research associates for the 2002-03 academic year: Paola Bacchetta of the University of Kentucky; R. Marie Griffith of Princeton University; Kelly Pemberton of the University of California, Berkeley; Brigid Sackey of the University of Ghana; and Elina Vuola of the Academy of Finland. Each will be in residence at the Divinity School for two semesters. The new research associates will teach a course as a visiting lecturer, and will share aspects of their research in a public forum.
Bacchetta’s project, titled “Hindu Nationalism and Gender,” will examine India’s most expansive Hindu nationalist organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and its parallel women’s wing, the Rashtra Sevika Samiti, from a comparative point of view in regard to gender.
Griffith’s project, “Born Again Bodies: American Christianity and Disciplines of the Flesh,” will trace religiously motivated body practices, particularly pertaining to dietary regimen, in modern American history.
Pemberton’s project, “Female Piety and Sainthood in South Asian Islam,” will focus on depictions of holy women in mystical Islam.
Sackey’s project, “Women in African Religious Movements in Ghana,” will use ethnographic studies to examine the changing status of women in religious movements in Ghana.
Vuola’s project, “Women, Religion, and Reproductive Rights in Contemporary Latin America,” will look at the interaction of religion and feminism in Latin American human rights discourse, with a focus on reproductive rights.
Clarissa Webster Atkinson will head the WSRP for the 2002-03 academic year while Ann Braude, director of the WSRP, is on leave as a fellow at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion at Yale University. Before retiring in 2000, Atkinson was associate dean for academic affairs at HDS and a member of the faculty of divinity in the history of Christianity.