The capaciously interdisciplinary field of Religion, Culture & Politics (RCP) foregrounds new or emergent problems in the study of religion that cut across traditional areas of academic inquiry. It explores the multiple genealogies of religion, especially in the modern world, around such themes as race and empire, gender and sexuality, law and secularism, histories of capitalism, political ecology, new media, and more. Drawing on the department’s strengths in theory and method, RCP has particular affinity for such interdisciplinary fields as cultural studies, postcolonial theory and de/anticolonial thought, critical theory, media studies, Indigenous studies, comparative political theory, and comparative literature. Many faculty and students work in or around this mobile field at different points in time, and thus its core emphases regularly change. While its focus is on modernity, it also looks to the modern period as a site where older histories continue to be redeployed and reactivated to new ends.
The program intersects with the DSR’s Religion in the Public Sphere initiative, and it is further supported by the activities of the “Religion/Culture/Politics Lab.”