Teaching, Scholarship, and Service.

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Education

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


Teaching 

Spring 2019

American Images. American Culture Program, Randolph College.

American Voices. American Culture Program, Randolph College.

American Culture Seminar. American Culture Program, Randolph College.

Fall 2018       

American Gods. Religious Studies Department, Randolph College.

Religion in Native North America. Religious Studies Department, Randolph College. 

First-Year Common Experience Program. Randolph College.

Spring 2018   

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.

Spring 2017    

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.”

Spring 2016    

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.

Fall 2015        

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.’”

Spring 2015    

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.

Fall 2014        

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.”


guest lectures

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.


employment

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.


Service

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.


publications

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." 


PAPER PRESENTATIONS

 

Research Experience

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.

Languages

French (professional working proficiency)
German (reading)    
Hebrew (moderate)
Czech (moderate)                                        


AFFILIATIONS

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