Katherine Dugan an Associate Professor of Religious Studies in the Humanities & Social Sciences Department at Springfield College in Western Massachusetts. She studies American Religions with a specialization in contemporary Catholicism in the U.S. She teaches courses on American religion, world religions, and Catholicism. She received a BA from the College of St. Benedict and a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. Katherine earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Northwestern University in 2015.
Katherine’s research interests are in religious experience, women in religion, and the intersection of religious practice and American culture. Her first book, Millennial Missionaries: How a Group of Young Catholics is Making Catholicism Cool (Oxford University Press 2019), is an ethnographic study of young adults who commit to two years evangelizing on college campuses in the U.S. She argues that missionaries’ prayer forms and devotional practices shape their subjectivities. Her research has been funded by the Cushwa Center for American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, The Graduate School Graduate Research Grant, and presented at meetings of the American Academy of Religion, the Society for the Anthropology of Religion, and the American Catholic Historical Association.
Katherine’s broader research interests are in religious experience, women in religion, and the intersection of religious practice and American culture. Her current book project is an ethnography of women and couples who practice Natural Family Planning (NFP). Catholic Sex Lives: Natural Family Planning and the Remaking of US Catholicism examines religiously informed family life and reproduction in the twenty-first century. She is a co-editor of From the Pews in the Back: Young Women & Catholicism with Jennifer Owens-Jofré (Liturgical Press 2009), which won second place in the 2010 Catholic Press Association’s Gender Issues category.
She has published a peer-reviewed articles on material religion on eBay, Catholic masculinity, and US Catholic norms, as well as interfaith activism and young adult Catholic identity.
Katherine currently teaches courses Religion in America, Religions of the World, Contemporary Catholicism, Religion, Health, and Healing, and Religion and Sports at Springfield College. As a scholar committed to cross-disciplinary cooperation, she has developed several interdisciplinary courses with colleagues in Philosophy and History, including What is Religion? and Religions of Ireland. She is also the Director of the Core Curriculum on campus.
Katherine has also taught a wide range of courses in Religious Studies, as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Northwestern University and as a Lecturer at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She earned a Teaching Certificate from the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching..
Before earning her Ph.D., Katherine graduated with a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, where she studied American Catholicism and worked as a research assistant at The Pluralism Project. Katherine also worked in several community-based organizations. She was a community educator in rural Alaska and a nutrition educator on a Native American reservation in rural Washington. In North Carolina, she provided technical assistance to women starting affordable housing nonprofits and worked in economic development in rural Oregon.
Phone: (605) 868-1706
(Photo credit: Dreaming Tree Photography)