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Visiting Scholar of Religious Studies


 Sonia Hazard is currently an NEH fellow in residence at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Mass. In August 2019 she will start as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Florida State University.  Until recently she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Franklin & Marshall. Click here to view her CV on academia.edu. 

Her areas of specialization include religions of America; religion and media; visual, material, and sensory culture; material texts and book history; nineteenth-century evangelicalism; and theory and method, especially new materialism, posthumanism, and affect studies.

Hazard’s book manuscript, The Touch of the Word: Evangelical Cultures of Print in Antebellum America, is a reception history of evangelical popular print media. It reconstructs the material spaces, practices, and affects that defined the everyday encounter with proliferating religious tracts and books. Her other writing appears (or is forthcoming) in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Religion and SocietyChurch History, Early American Studies, and the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America.

Her research has been supported by several major fellowships, including the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, the Mellon Dissertation Fellowship at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Greenfield Dissertation Fellowship at the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Winterthur Dissertation Fellowship, and the Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School. She is currently a Senior Fellow in the Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School and a Fellow at the Yale-Based Center for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion

Hazard earned her Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University, a master’s degree in the History of Christianity from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. summa cum laude in Religious Studies and Art History from Macalester College.



“Evangelical Encounters: The American Tract Society and the Affective Rituals of Print Distribution in Antebellum America” in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion (accepted and forthcoming 2019). Peer-reviewed.

“The Pilgrim’s Parlor: The Refinement of the American Tract Society, 1825-1861” in The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (accepted and forthcoming 2019). Peer-reviewed.

“Thing” in Early American Studies 16:4 (2018): 792-800. Peer-reviewed.

“Agency, the Idea of Agency, and the Problem of Mediation in America’s God and Secularism in Antebellum America” in Church History 84:3 (2015): 610-15.

“The Material Turn in the Study of Religion” in Religion and Society 4:1 (2013): 58-78.


Articles  in revisions

“How Joseph Smith Discovered Printing Plates and Founded Mormonism” (in revisions for resubmission)

 ““Smitten by the touch of death”: The Ecstasy of the Deathbed in Antebellum America” (in revisions for resubmission)


Special issues

Guest editor, “Religion and Material Texts in the Americas,” special issue of Material Religion 17:1 (projected Spring 2021).

Guest editor (with Marcy J. Dinius), “Keywords for Early American Literature and Material Texts,” special issue of Early American Studies 16:4 (2018).


Selected online publications

“Off the Cuff: Teaching with TIF” in The Immanent Frame (September 20, 2018): https://tif.ssrc.org/2018/09/20/teaching-with-the-immanent-frame/

“Do my socks respond to my caress?” in Tenth Anniversary Forum on “Is this all there is?” for The Immanent Frame, Courtney Bender and Nancy Levene, eds. (November 27, 2017): https://tif.ssrc.org/2017/11/27/do-my-socks-respond-to-my-caress

“Abigail Hutchinson: A Young Woman Hopefully Converted,” Material Objects Archive for the Yale Center for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion (December 2013): http://mavcor.yale.edu/conversations/object-narratives/abigail-hutchinson-young-woman-hopefully-converted. Peer-reviewed.


Book reviews

“The Anxiety of Religious Studies,” contribution to symposium on Thomas Lewis, Why Philosophy Matters for the Study of Religion—and Vice Versa (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016) in Syndicate (forthcoming in print): https://syndicate.network/symposia/theology/why-philosophy-matters-for-the-study-of-religion-and-vice-versa/

Review of William Mazzarella, The Mana of Mass Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017) in Religion (forthcoming in print): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0048721X.2018.1505143?journalCode=rrel20

Review of Tisa Wenger, Religious Freedom: The Contested History of an American Ideal (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017) in Journal of Unitarian Universalist History 41 (2018): 217-220.

“Bibles, American Style,” review of John Fea, The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016) in Common-place 17:2.5 (May 2017): http://common-place.org/book/bibles-american-style/

Review of T.J. Tomlin, A Divinity for All Persuasions: Almanacs and Early American Religious Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014) in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 141:2 (April 2017): 199-200.

Review of John Modern, Secularism in Antebellum America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015) in Reading Religion (July 2016): http://readingreligion.org/books/secularism-antebellum-america

Review of Thomas Tweed, America’s Church: The National Shrine and Catholic Presence in the Nation’s Capital (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) in Religious Studies Review 39:1 (2013): 46.


Reference book entries

 “Robert Baird,” “Censorship,” “Floral Art,” “Frederick Manfred,” and “Mason Locke Weems” in The Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, George Thomas Kurian and Mark Lamport, eds. (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016): 191-93, 476-77, 899-900, 1406-7 and 2443-44. 

“Icons” and “Shroud of Turin” in Miracles: An Encyclopedia of People, Places and Supernatural Events from Antiquity to the Present, Patrick Hayes, ed. (Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 2016): 187-89 and 359-61.

“Elizabeth Burgin” and “Anna ‘Nancy’ Smith Strong” in An Encyclopedia of American Women at War: From the Home Front to the Battlefields, Lisa Tendrich Frank, ed. (Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 2013): 112-13 and 521-23.  


Fall 2018

RST/ART/AMS 374: Religion and Material Culture

RST/AMS 203: The Cultural History of American Religion


Spring  2018

RST/AFS 275: African American Religions

RST  276: Gender, Sexuality, and the Body in Christianity

RST 111: Introduction to Religious Studies