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Natalie Smolenski

Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology & History

  • Affiliation(s)
    • CREES Graduate Student Associate
  • About

    The English language has a category called "religion" which countless people work hard to understand and, more importantly, to live. I am dedicated to a rigorous intellectual and deep experiential engagement with this category as it manifests in everyday life, both within high institutions and in our most intimate moments. Specifically, I am interested in how people translate their experiences of sanctity into political worldviews and claims. My focus is currently on Catholicism in Poland, particularly the political theology of John Paul II. I also have a background in the study of Islam as well as American neopagan and neoshamanic movements. My anthropological and historical work is informed by phenomenological and psychoanalytic methods.

  • Education
    • Center for Arabic Study Abroad
  • Awards
    • Copernicus Fellow, 2010-11
    • Kosciuszko Fellowship, 2010-11
  • Grants
    • 2013 Jozef Tischner Junior Visiting Fellow, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (Vienna)
    • 2012 Jean Monnet Graduate Fellowship
    • 2011-2012 RIW: Reading Sainthood across the Disciplines
    • 2010-2011 Copernicus Fellow
  • Research Areas of Interest
    • Catholicism & Islam
    • Saints
    • Mideast & Poland
    • 20th Century - present & medieval