Fellows 2017–2018

Charrise Barron is an ISM graduate (M.Div. ’10) who will receive her Ph.D. in African and African American studies, with a secondary concentration in music, from Harvard University in May 2017. At Yale, she will expand her interdisciplinary research of a recent period in black American gospel music which she has named “The Platinum Age of Gospel.” This period, roughly spanning 1993-2013, saw marked shifts away from previous eras of gospel performance and culture. Using ethnographic and historical methodologies, this critical examination of gospel’s Platinum Age will illuminate revised theologies of sanctification among African American Pentecostal churches.

Anderson H. Blanton returns to the ISM for a second year. Previously, he was at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Göttingen, Germany), where he was a research scholar since 2014. He has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Columbia University. His book project, Toying with the Sacred: A Cultural History of Christian Playthings, explores the history of pedagogical techniques and technologies in the American Sunday school.

Hyun Kyong Hannah Chang comes to Yale from Ewha Women’s University (Seoul, Korea), where she was a research professor in musicology. She completed her Ph.D. in musicology at UCLA in 2014, with the support of an American Musicological Society 50 Fellowship. She is currently working on her book project, Singing and Praying in Christian Pyongyang, 1900s-1930s: Borderland Voices in the Trans-Pacific, which explores vocal music and communal prayers that were formed in Korean Christian communities in Pyongyang during the decades of active North American Protestant mission in the Pacific. 

Finnian M.M. Gerety comes to Yale from Brown University, where he has been visiting assistant professor of religious studies since 2015, when he received his Ph.D. in South Asian studies from Harvard University.  He works at the intersection of sound, religion, and technology in Hindu traditions, examining the performance and interpretation Sanskrit mantras in historical and modern contextsHis current book project, This Whole World is OM: The Birth of the Sacred Syllable in Ancient India, will be published by Oxford University Press.  His work at Yale will be the foundation of a planned book project, Mantras to the Max: Sacred Sound in South India.
Barbara Haggh-Huglo is professor of music at the University of Maryland, College Park.  She is working on a two-part research project, combining data gathered from the first analysis of three medieval source-types from Ghent (hagiographical manuscripts, graduals and antiphoners, and aldermen’s registers) with broad interdisciplinary reading. After statistical analysis of data on repetition, creativity (its opposite), and value (through repetition or creativity), she will then interpret these data through wide reading of medieval theology known in Ghent (the most populous city north of Paris in 1400), comparisons of cities, studies of repetition in mathematics, philosophy, biology, linguistics, and education, and scholarship on the modern Church.
Ramez Mikhail, who is receiving his Ph.D. in theology from the University of Vienna in June 2017, will be joining the ISM as a postdoctoral associate in liturgical studies. He studies eastern liturgical traditions, focusing on the Coptic/Alexandrian traditions. At Yale, he will prepare his doctoral dissertation for publication, entitled The Presentation of the Lamb: A Historical and Theological Analysis of the Prothesis and Preparatory Rites of the Coptic Liturgy. This work investigates the historical development of the rite of prothesis in the Coptic liturgy, in which the bread and wine for the Eucharist are prepared by placing them on the altar accompanied by the appropriate prayers and chants.