Donovan Schaefer

Donovan Schaefer
Assistant Professor of Material Religion & Visual Culture
Contact Information
Office Address: 
Cohen 226
Email Address:
Office Hours: 
Tuesday 5:00-6:00

Ph.D., Syracuse University
M.A., Syracuse University
B.A., University of British Columbia

Research and Teaching Interests: 

Embodiment, Affect, and Emotion

Material Culture and New Materialisms

Religion and Power

Science and Religion

Secularism Studies

Recent Courses: 

RELS 011: Science and Religion

RELS 101: Religion and Evolution

RELS 102/ANTH 112/ARTH 339: Sacred Stuff: Religious Bodies, Places, and Things

RELS 500: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion

RELS 505: Religion and Cinema

RELS 552: Emotion and Power

Brief Biography: 

Donovan Schaefer joined the Department of Religious Studies as an assistant professor in 2017, after spending three years as a lecturer at the University of Oxford. He earned his B.A. in the interdisciplinary Religion, Literature, and the Arts program at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. His master’s and doctoral degrees are from the Religion program at Syracuse University. After completing his PhD, he held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Haverford College. His research focuses on the role of embodiment and emotion in religion and secularisms. His first book, Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power (Duke 2015) challenges the notion that religion is inextricably linked to language and belief, proposing instead that it is primarily driven by affects. His current project explores the intersection between New Materialisms, science, and secularisms.