My research looks at religious nationalism and secularism. In the United States today, when, how, and where “the religious” sits in relation to “the nation” is complicated, varied, and important. My research examines this intersection by studying “Christian nationalism” movements that, while hardly singular, bring together religious dogmas, traditions, narratives, and historical consciousness, seeking to fuse Christian traditions and values with American identity and belonging.


Christian nationalist movements intersect religious and political realms, as such, these groups sit at the crossroads of the biggest social issues in the United States today: race, religious freedom, historical narratives, xenophobia, reproductive and LGBTQIA+ rights. Undoubtedly, these are complex and controversial battles, and scholars (Whitehead & Perry 2020) have argued that these movements are more than simply an effort to influence laws or religious piety, but expansive culture-shaping frameworks through which people locate their identities and construct ideas of “us and them.” By examining emerging forms of Christian nationalism, especially what and how Christian nationalists believe and their efforts to change US civic life, I am also studying how boundaries of belonging are created, how historical knowledge is (re)produced, and how secularism as both a political doctrine and an epistemic category (Asad 2003) is being reconstituted in contemporary America.



Originally from New Zealand, I’ve had an unusual trajectory to graduate study. With an undergraduate degree in Film Studies and Philosophy, I worked across a variety of artistic-based professions, including theatre, live concerts, TV, and Film. After devoting many years to traveling, I stumbled upon anthropology almost by accident. My masters research looked at religious and political memory in Northern Ireland. When not studying religious stuff, I’m usually geeking out on motorcycles, photography, or trying to squeeze in more travel to somewhere new.


  • BA , Univ. of Auckland, 5/2007
  • MS , Univ. of Auckland