Teaching, Scholarship, and Service.
Ph.D. Duke University, Graduate Program in Religion, defended March 30, 2018.
Conferral May 12, 2018.
After Eden: Religion and Labor in the American West, 1868-1914
Committee: David Morgan (chair), Kate Bowler, Elizabeth Olson, Robert Orsi, Joseph Winters
Examination Fields: American Religious History, Religion in the American West, Religion and the Environment, Critical Theories and Methods of Religion
M.A. Duke University, Master of Arts in Religious Studies, Jan. 2016
Montana State University, Environmental History Program, graduate courses, 2011-2012.
B.A. Whitman College, Religion Department (awarded with honors), 2010
University of Haifa, Israel. Study abroad program, 2008-2009
American Culture Program, Randolph College.
Designed and implemented a 12-credit semester-long experiential program that examines the intersections of religion, race, and class through the lens of Native American struggles for sacred landscapes in the American West.
American Images. American Culture Program, Randolph College.
In this section of the program, students view and engage with different forms of media and literature related to the weekly topic, including films, westerns, documentaries, paintings, sculptures, memoirs, short stories, poetry, and novels.
American Voices I. American Culture Program, Randolph College.
In this section of the program, students attend weekly guest lectures from visiting scholars, Native leaders, artists, community organizers, and conservationists, and then participate in group discussion.
American Voices II. American Culture Program, Randolph College.
This is our travel course, which enables us to go “on the road” and experience the themes and materials that we discuss in class. Trips include a day-trip to Natural Bridge State Park, two days visiting Historic Jamestowne and the Jamestown Settlement, three days in Washington, DC, and a week in Utah.
American Culture Seminar. American Culture Program, Randolph College.
This is our weekly discussion-based seminar, in which students dive deep into academic and historical texts.
American Gods. Religious Studies Department, Randolph College.
Religion in Native North America. Religious Studies Department, Randolph College.
First-Year Common Experience Program. Randolph College.
Religion in a Global Context. Religious Studies Department, Elon University.
Harry Potter and Religion. Religious Studies Department, Duke University.
Seminar course focused on the intersection and history of religion, magic, and science. Using the tools of digital humanities and a final research project, students explore pop culture, religion and literature, and theories of religious studies.
Teaching Assistant. Race, Cinema, and Sacred Value. Religious Studies Department, Duke University. Instructor Joseph Winters.
Sophomore-level Seminar course focused on the contemporary representation of race and religion in film, with attention to critical race theory and media studies.
“Brenna offered kind and constructive comments on my writing assignments this semester.” “I had an incredible time hearing Brenna’s feedback and input, and appreciate all she did for us throughout the term.”
Teaching Assistant. Sustainability: Faith, Denial, Reason. Department of Ethics, Duke University. Instructor Dirk Philipsen.
Advanced undergraduate seminar on environmental ethics; with a focus on the concept of sustainability and its impact on diverse populations, core ethical concepts, and models for sustainable living.
Preceptor with discussion section. American Christianity, Duke Divinity School. Instructor Lauren Winner.
Led discussion section for Master of Divinity students; was solely responsible for section content and grading.
While confronting my students with diverse theologies, as well as offering new perspectives on their own practices and beliefs, I encouraged students to think critically about Christianity and its role in history and the modern world.
Evaluated highly by students for creating an open and hospitable classroom: She “fostered a careful dialogue in a precept full of nearly the whole range of the theological spectrum. She kept us balanced and encouraged us to hear a variety of arguments and perspectives.” “She is able to be both personal and instructive in her classroom. Brenna was very articulate in weaving through difficult conversations about ‘American Christianity’ and ‘Race and the Church.’”
Teaching Assistant with discussion section. Introduction to Religious Studies. Religious Studies Department, Duke University. Instructor Shalom Goldman.
Introduction to leading themes and concepts in the study of religions from the ancient world to the present.
Led discussion section for first-year undergraduate students; was solely responsible for section content and grading.
Preceptor with discussion section. American Christianity, Duke Divinity School. Instructor Grant Wacker.
Led discussion section for Master of Divinity students; was solely responsible for section content and grading
Evaluated highly for encouraging student questions and discussion: “Brenna was a fantastic facilitator, offered context that was missing in lecture, and engaged us in weekly discussion on the relevance of class material to our ministries.”
September 2017 “Native American Religious Traditions.” World Religions. Religious and Ethical Studies Department, Meredith College.
April 2017 “Representing Religion and Violence in Film.” Race, Cinema, and Sacred Value. Religious Studies Department, Duke University.
April 2017 “Environmental Ethics.” Philosophy. Religious and Ethical Studies Department, Meredith College.
October 2016 “Manifest Destiny: Religion in the American West.” American Christianity. Duke Divinity School.
April 2015 “Women in Islam.” Introduction to Religious Studies. Religious Studies Department, Duke University.
February 2015“Religious Responses to the Environmental Crisis.” Sustainability: Faith, Denial, Reason. Ethics Department, Duke University.
February 2015“Gilgamesh in Context: Mesopotamian Religion and Culture.” Introduction to Religious Studies. Religious Studies Department, Duke University.
2018-2020 Ainsworth Visiting Scholar and Visiting Assistant Professor in Religious Studies and American Culture. Randolph College, Lynchburg, VA.
Spring 2018 Instructor of Record, Elon University.
Spring 2018 Instructor of Record, Duke University.
2014-2017 Teaching Assistant and Preceptor, Duke University.
2013-2018 Editorial Assistant, Material Religion: Journal of Art, Object, and Belief.
2011-2013 Development, Outreach, & Research Assistant, Property & Environment Research Center, Bozeman, Montana.
2018-2020 Pre-Major Advisor, 12 students, Randolph College.
2016-2017 Mentor, Department of Religious Studies, Duke University.
Mentor for Master of Arts students in the Religious Studies Department; provide guidance on academic and professional development
2015-2017 Teaching & Learning Coordinator, Duke University.
Work with faculty and staff to coordinate workshops, seminars, and lectures on innovative teaching methods and professional development
2015-2017 Student Representative, Graduate Program in Religion Executive Committee, Duke University.
FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
2018 Top 5% of all Undergraduate Instructors, Duke University.
2018 Certificate in College Teaching, Duke University.
Completion of multi-year pedagogical training program through the Duke Graduate School, with an emphasis on fundamentals of college teaching, diverse learners, instructional technology, and systematic assessment of student learning outcomes
2016-2017 Preparing Future Faculty Fellowship, Duke University.
Competitive fellowship dedicated to preparing doctoral students for positions in teaching, research, and service through teaching workshops, site visits at partner campuses, and an intensive mentorship program at Meredith College, a small liberal art’s college in Raleigh, NC
2016 American Heritage Center Summer Travel Grant, University of Wyoming
2014 Charles Redd Center for the American West, Summer Travel Fellowship for archival work in Helena, Montana.
2010 Phi Beta Kappa Society Member.
2018 “Gospel of Gold: Unearthing Religious Spaces in the American West,” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation. (Forthcoming.)
2016 “Apostolic Faith Mission of Portland, Oregon,” “Armstrong, Richard,” “Paintings,” “Textile Arts.” In Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
2016 Review of Mormonism and Politics, edited by Randall Balmer and Jana Riess. Religion in the American West Blog, February 2016.
2012 Jorgensen, Brenna L., and Lawrence R. Watson. “Unintended Consequences: How Sustainability Certification and Renewable Biomass Mandates Threaten Nonindustrial Private Forests.” Forest Landowner. Vol. 71, No. 2.
2011 Jorgensen, Brenna L. “The Grizzly Art of Justice.” Missoulian, (appeared in 20 additional western newspapers). October 12, 2011.
Works in progress
2018 “Our Lady of the Rockies: Catholicism and Environmental Reclamation”
2018 "Merchants for the Kingdom: Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution and Mormon Community."
2017 “Industrial Capitalism: The Collision of Catholicism and Mining in Urban Montana,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 21.
2017 “Mapping the Native Landscape: Power and Religion in the Nineteenth-Century American West,” Religion and Power Graduate Student Conference, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, March 24.
2016 “Wind River Wage Laborers: A Religious Economy of Survival in the 19th century American West,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 22.
2016 “From Montana to the Vatican: Religion and Labor in the Nineteenth-Century American West,” Religion and Movement, University of Chicago Graduate Student Conference, April 15.
2016 “Our Lady of the Rockies: An Economy of Seeing and Devotion in Butte, Montana,” Southeast Commission for the Study of Religion, March 5.
2015 “Religious Studies and The Environment: Recreating Eden in the American West,” The Nature of the Humanities, Stony Brook English Graduate Student Conference, February 7.
2014 “Extractive Societies and Denominational Adaptation: Evangelical Revivals in Nineteenth-Century Montana,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 23.
2014 “Eco-Halal: Negotiating Religious Authority in an Environmental Age,” Religion and The Natural Elements, Northwestern University Graduate Student Conference, November 1.
2014 “Eco-Halal: Negotiating Religious Authority in an Environmental Age,” Southeast Commission for the Study of Religion, March 7.
2015-2018 Doctoral Researcher.
Graduate Program in Religion, Duke University
Conducted extensive primary source research at federal, state, county, and church archives, collected oral histories, and evaluated secondary sources.
2013-2014 Research Assistant.
Religious Studies Department, Duke University.
Assistant to David Morgan, conducted secondary source research and offered editorial suggestions on a manuscript.
2011-2013 Research Coordinator.
Property & Environment Research Center, Bozeman, Montana.
Planned and conducted field studies, prepared grant proposals, recruited and coordinated research subjects, synthesized research findings into formal reports and policy papers.
French (professional working proficiency)
American Academy of Religion Phi Beta Kappa
First Nations Colloquium Duke/UNC Theory Reading Group
Triangle Religion in the Americas Colloquium
areas of interest
American Religious History Race & Ethnic Studies American Catholicism
Religion and Environment Lived Religion American Christianities
American Indian Studies Religion in the American West