Monica R. Miller
Visiting Assistant Professor for Religious Studies
Miller is also interested in the mediation of social group differences (race, gender, sexuality, and class) on the practice, inheritance, and performativity of religiosity. Under this program of research, Miller is interested in examining the role of religion within processes of social stratification and marginalization, particularly among Latino and African-American populations. Miller approaches this area of research with methodological diversity, utilizing social scientific methods, alongside of theory within and outside of religious studies. The demographic related to this area of research includes GLBTQ youth and youth of color more generally.
Currently, Miller has a large scale survey project, Youth Culture and the Remaking of Religion in Portland, Oregon, looking at the role and weight of material cultural practices in youth culture. The findings of this project will culminate in a series of articles and be included in a larger manuscript project entitled Faith in the Flesh: Manufactured Zones of Insignificance. Additionally, Miller has a long term research project, Habana Libre? Youth Subcultures and Zones of (Im)Possibility in Cuba. In collaboration with Dr. Ezekiel Dixon-RomÃ¡n of the University of Pennsylvania, this ongoing research project examines zones of significance among various youth subcultures in Habana, Cuba. Much of the world assumes that Cuban youth culture is homogenous and the Cuban government has worked hard to protect that image. However, this project seeks to describe the variability of Cuban youth culture (mikkis, raperos, rastas, hemos, frikis, punks, etc.), the history/evolution of these cultures, their variability in thoughts and perceptions of society, the economy, education, health, and the Revolution. When possible, the in-depth interviews are being conducted on video camera which will be turned into a documentary on Cuban youth culture. This research project closely examines the manner in which tourism, familial social history and migration, fashion, education, gender & sexuality, among other variables, contributes toward the construction, maintenance, and practice of youth subcultural practices. Through a variety of qualitative methods, this project considers the emergence, resilience, and growth of youth culture as a way to understand more fully the changing socio-political landscape of Cuban society. In addition to charting change in the political dispositions of Cuban youth, this project is likewise interested in examining how everyday users, producers, and consumers of particular cultural forms use certain practices and acts as modes of political, cultural, and social expression.
Among numerous book chapters and articles, Miller’s most recent article (with Dr. Ezekiel Dixon-RomÃ¡n), “Habits of the Heart: Youth Religious Participation as Progress, Peril, or Change?” was featured in a special issue on Race, Religion, and Late Democracy of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (2011). Additionally, Miller is co-editor and contributor of a 2009 special issue of Culture & Religion Journal (Routledge) on Hip Hop & Religion. Miller’s first book, Religion and Hip Hop, is new book with Routledge and she is currently working on two manuscripts on Hip Hop Culture and Religion with Dr. Anthony B. Pinn, one of which will be co-edited with rapper and Rice University Distinguished Lecturer, Bun B.
Miller is currently co-chair of a new American Academy of Religion (AAR) Group, Critical Approaches to Hip Hop and Religion, is a Senior Research Fellow with The Institute for Humanist Studies, and most recently is part of a two year international scholarly working group of nine scholars housed at The University of Alabama and spearheaded by Dr. Russell T. McCutcheon called Culture on the Edge.
In her spare time, Miller enjoys watching reality T.V., exploring coffee culture, and reading junk magazines.
Ph.D. Chicago Theological Seminary, 2010
M.T.S. Drew University, 2006
B.A. Fordham University, 2004