Contact by email: coatesat@gmail[dot]com
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My research examines the bodily sensations and technologies of conservative Protestantism in America from 1900-1950. My first major research project is called The Senses of Fundamentalism: A Material History of Sensing Bodies in Early Twentieth-Century American Fundamentalism. This book-length project tells a new story about the rise of fundamentalism that puts sensing bodies at the center of fundamentalist history. Each chapter examines how one of the senses worked in fundamentalist life: sight, hearing, touch, and the “spiritual sense.” The advisor for this project was David Morgan, author of Protestants and Pictures, Visual Piety, and The Forge of Vision (among others). My dissertation project received an ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.
I have two future projects simmering. One will provide a scholarly account of the material and visual history of religion during World War I. I also hope to write a trade press book about the relationship between religion and American gun culture, asking how the right to have a well-provided militia became the “sacred” right to bear arms.
I spend most of my time looking at dispensationalist prophecy charts, writing about the crackle of gramophones, and trying to understand what the fundamentalists’ “spiritual sense” was. My first book is called What is Protestant Art? and was published by Brill in 2018. You can find my work published in The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in America and The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and the Arts. I have worked as an editorial assistant at Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief. When I’m not writing or teaching, I maintain a little garden, I take photographs, I yell at Winnipeg Jets and Duke Blue Devils games on TV, and I like to watch reality cooking shows with my partner Jamie L. Brummitt.
For an example of my writing, read this short essay I wrote for Yale University’s MAVCOR project. To hear a video lecture about religion and material culture from my Intro to Religion course, click here.