Kristy Nabhan-Warren is the inaugural V.O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Chair of Catholicism at The University of Iowa, Departments of Religious Studies and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies. Her published work focuses on American Catholicism, Mexican American lived religion, ethnographic methods in the study of North American religions, youth and religion, and women and American religion. She is the author of The Virgin of El Barrio: Marian Apparitions, Catholic Evangelizing, and Mexican American Activism (New York University Press, 2005), a deep ethnography of a Mexican American Catholic community and its devotions to the Virgin Mary and to apparition-inspired activism. Her second book builds upon the ethnography that went into the writing of The Virgin of El Barrio. In Cursillos in America: Catholics, Protestants and Fourth Day Spirituality (The University of North Carolina Press, 2013), Kristy explores the broadband “short course in Christianity” movement that arose in Mallorca, Spain in the 1930s and the intensive weekend experiences that have become widespread among Catholics and Protestants alike. She shows the ways that global forms of Christianity like Cursillos have made their way over to the United States and impacted American Christianity in new ways.
Kristy is currently writing her third single-authored manuscript, Cornbelt America: How Faith Works in the Heartland. The book is a finely grained ethnography and historically situated study of lived religion in Cornbelt states and larger Midwest. In her new book, Kristy makes the argument that we must turn our attention to small town and rural Midwest to understand broader immigration, employment, and religious trends in the United States. Funding for the research and writing of Cornbelt America has been generously supported by The American Parish Project; The University of Iowa; and The Louisville Institute. Kristy is especially grateful to The Louisville Institute which granted her a Sabbatical Grant For Researchers (SGR) to make a 2017-2018 academic year research leave possible. https://louisville-institute.org/awards/sabbatical-grant-for-researchers/
Kristy is committed to making scholarship matter and meaningful to non-academics and prides herself on writing for a wide audience. She stays true to her working class and Midwestern roots in her new book Cornbelt America, a thoroughly researched yet accessibly written book that will be marketed to a wide audience. She shares her moods and motivations as a Midwestern born and raised individual in her forthcoming essay with The University of Iowa Press edited volume As Far as the Eye Can See “Why Studying Religion, Migration and Work in the Heartland Matters.” Forthcoming 2019, University of Press.
Kristy is serving as Editor for the forthcoming Oxford University Press Handbook on Latino/a Christianities in the United States. The Handbook features twenty-four leading scholars in Latino/a Christianities and is forthcoming with Oxford University Press in the Fall 2020. The sponsoring OUP editor is Theo Calderara. Kristy is also co-editing, with Dr. James Bielo (Miami University of Ohio), a Special Issue of the international journal Exchange with the focus on “The Anthropology of Catholicism: Challenges and Opportunities. Forthcoming 2019.
Kristy has been an active member of her flagship organization, The American Academy of Religion since 1994. Currently she is Co-Chair, with Dr. Nichole Renee Phillips, of the Religion and Social Science (RSS) unit. Kristy is the elected Vice-Chair of the Council of Graduate Studies in Religion (CGSR). She is also a Steering Committee Member of the journal Spiritus: A Journal of Christianity. Kristy enjoys serving as manuscript reader-reviewer for several university presses, including: New York University Press, Cornell University Press, Columbia University press, Yale University Press, The University of Illinois Press, Fordham University Press, and The University of North Carolina Press.
Kristy is thrilled to be the Series Editor of this new book series “Ethnographies of Religion” with The University of North Carolina Press. She works closely with UNC Press Senior Editor Elaine Maisner, and the series will publish one to two innovative ethnographies of religion each year. Look for our exciting books in the coming years and please contact Kristy of Elaine if you are interested in submitting a proposal to the series.