Department of Anthropology
Ph.D. Anthropology, Graduate Center, City University of New York, 2013
M.Ed. Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, 2005
B.A. Race, Class, and Environmental Politics, Fairhaven College, Western Washington University, 2000
Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University, 2021-present
Assistant Professor of the Practice in Anthropology, Vanderbilt University, 2017-2021
Postdoctoral Fellow, Anthropology Department, Vanderbilt University, 2014-2016
The Divine Institution: White Evangelicalism’s Politics of the Family. Rutgers University Press (March 2021).
Beyond Populism: Angry Politics and the Twilight of Neoliberalism, edited with Jeff Maskovsky, West Virginia University Press, 2020.
Articles in refereed journals
“Lifeboat Theology: White evangelicalism, apocalyptic chronotopes, and environmental politics” Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, (Forthcoming).
“Racializing misogyny: Sexuality and gender in the new online white nationalism,” Feminist Anthropology, 1.2 (2020): 176-183.
“Christian nationalism and LGBTQ Structural Violence in the United States,” Journal of Religion and Violence, 7.3 (2020) : 278-302.
“White Sexual Politics: The Patriarchal Family in White Nationalism and the Religious Right,” Transforming Anthropology, 28.1 (2020): 58-73.
“Whither Whiteness and Religion: Implications for theology and the study of religion,” co-authored with Rachel Schneider, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 88.1, (March 2020): 175–199.
“Training the Porous Body: Evangelicals and the Ex-Gay Movement,” American Anthropologist, 120.4 (December 2018): 647-658.
“Feminist Ethnography in Cyberspace: Imagining Families in the Cloud,” Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 73.3 (June 2015): 113-124.
“The Apartheid Conscience: Gender, Race, and Re-imagining the White Nation in Cyberspace,” Ethnic Studies Review, 29.2 (Winter 2006): 20-45.
“Reporting on organized racism/white supremacy movements: challenges of amplification, legitimization and mainstreaming for political journalism,” with Tina Askanius, Routledge Companion to Political Journalism.
“Americanism, Trump, and Uniting the White Right,” in Beyond Populism: Angry Politics and the Twilight of Neoliberalism, eds. Jeff Maskovsky and Sophie Bjork-James, West Virginia University Press, 2020, 42-60.
“Hacker Nation: Cyberspace and the Feminist Appropriation of Technology in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy,” in Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Kick Their Asses!: Feminist Perspectives on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, eds. Donna King And Carrie Lee Smith. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2012, 98-107.
“Cybersupremacy: The new face and form of white supremacist activism,” in Tactics in Hard Times: Practices and Spaces of New Media, ed. Megan Boler. Boston: MIT Press, 2008*, 405-428.
* Published under the name R. Sophie Statzel
“This is Our Message: Women’s Leadership in the New Christian Right. By Emily S. Johnson and The Preacher’s Wife: The Precarious Power of Evangelical Women Celebrities. By Kate Bowler,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Volume 88, Issue 2, June 2020, Pages 594–599.
Invited review of Cyber Racism: White Supremacy Online and the New Attack on Civil Rights, by Jessie Daniels. Gender and Society, 24 (2010): 408-409.
“‘White Genocide’: Digital Cultures and the shape of White Nationalist Fear,” in development for special issue stemming from workshop, Critical Understanding of Racialization in the Era of Global Populism, Copenhagen (2019).
2021 “The FBI’s 2020 Hate Crime Report Shows 12-Year High, But Spotlights Underreporting,” Rantt Media.
2021 “Rick Santorum breezes past the genocidal foundation of white Christian Nationalism,” Religion Dispatches.
2021 “QAnon hasn’t gone away – it’s alive and kicking in states across the country,” The Conversation.
“The biggest threats to American democracy? White nationalists and politicians who embrace them,” LA Times, October 10, 2020.
“Nearly two centuries ago, a QAnon-like conspiracy theory propelled candidates to Congress,” The Conversation, September 2, 2020.
“Gender and Religion.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Anthropology. Ed. John Jackson. New York: Oxford University Press (2019). http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/abstract/document/obo-9780199766567/obo-9780199766567-0202.xml?rskey=hq39HH&result=3&q=bjork-james#firstMatch.
“Many hate crimes never make it into the FBI’s database,” The Conversation, January 4, 2019.
“The ‘Pro-Family’ Movement Has Little to Say About Family Separation,” Religion Dispatches, July 12, 2018.
“What the latest FBI data do and do not tell us about hate crimes in the US, The Conversation, Nov. 26, 2017.
“When White Nationalism Became Popular,” Anthropology News, co-written with Jeff Maskovsky, May 18, 2017.
FELLOWSHIPS AND GRANTS
Individual Research Grant, American Academy of Religion, 2020
Post-PhD Fellowship, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 2019- 2021
Coolidge Fellow, Crosscurrents Research Colloquium, Auburn Seminary, New York, 2019
Junior Faculty Teaching Fellowship, Vanderbilt University, 2018-2019
Mellon Digital Humanities Faculty Fellow, Vanderbilt University, 2018-2019
Research Scholar Grant, Vanderbilt University, 2018
Small Grant, LGBT Policy Lab, Vanderbilt University, 2017-2018
Macro-Grant, Institute for Digital Learning, Vanderbilt University, 2017-2018;
Workshop Grant, National Science Foundation, 2017-2018
Conference Support Grant, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 2017- 2018
EOS Environmental Fellow, Vanderbilt University, 2015-2016
Jack Shand Research Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2015-2017
Presidential Research Assistantship with Professor Leith Mullings, President of the American Anthropological Association, 2012-2013
Mellon Fellowship, Committee for the Study of Religion, CUNY Graduate Center, 2012-2013
Dissertation Fellowship, CUNY Graduate Center, 2011-2012
Doctoral Dissertation Research Award, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 2010
Doctoral Research Grant, CUNY, 2010
Graduate Teaching Fellowship, CUNY, 2007-2009
Doctoral Research Grant, CUNY, 2008
“Be like Sweden!: The US Far-Right and the Swedish Response,” REDEM Seminar – Extremist responses to Covid19 – Mobilizations in and around Sweden, Rethinking Democracy, Malmö University and The Institute for Future Studies, Stockholm University, 2020.
“White Nationalism in the Era of Angry Politics,” Age of Rages Conference, Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore (postponed due to COVID-19)
“The Alt-Right in US History,” Fairhaven College, Bellingham, Washington, 2019.
“Racialized homophobia: Sexuality and gender in the online white nationalist movement,” Critical Understanding of Racialization in the Era of Global Populism, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, June 2019.
“Race, Gender, and Evangelical Theology,” Fordham University, New York, April 2019.
“The Alt-Right and the Legacy of Racism in the US,” Outside the Box Series, Nashville Public Library, 2018.
“Gender and nation in US Evangelicalism,” Religious Studies Colloquium, Middle Tennessee State University, 2017.
“Understanding the Alt-Right,” Government Accountability Office, Chicago, 2017.
“The Alt-Right in US History,” The Poynter Smart Conference at Vanderbilt, Poynter Institute, 2017.
“Where do we go from here? Racism, Populism, Fascism and the Future of the Hard Right,” Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, City University of New York, 2016.
“Respectability, Race, and Making Gender Sacred in US Evangelicalism,” Colorado College, Colorado, 2016.
“Doing gender/doing religion: Making family and making nation in US Evangelicalism,” Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, Ontario, 2015.
International Women’s Day Discussion, Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, 2015.
“‘I felt His love wash over me’: Affective Truth in Evangelical Christianity,” University of California at San Diego Anthropology Colloquium, University of California, San Diego, 2014.
“Reading the Bible with James Dobson: The Truth Project, Race, and the Construction of a ‘Biblical Worldview,” The Bible in American Life conference, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, 2014.
“The ‘Problem’ with Fundamentalism and Other Liberal Myths About Religion,” New York Academy of Sciences Panel, New York, NY, 2013.
“From ‘rules’ to a ‘relationship’: The spiritual faith and political passions of American Evangelicals,” SSRC sponsored conference on Spirituality, Political Engagement, and Public Life, Columbia University, New York, NY, 2011.
SLECTED CONFERENCE ACTIVITY
“Thirty Years after Contested Lives: Abortion Politics on the World Stage,” American Anthropological Association, 2019.
“How Anthropology Matters in the Anthropocene: Understanding the Cultures and Politics of Climate Change Denial,” Executive Panel, American Anthropological Association, 2017.
“Sacralizing Gender: familiar patterns and divergent directions in global evangelicalism,” American Anthropological Association Meetings, 2015.
“Engaging Secular and Religious Affect,” Affect Theory Conference, 2015.
“The (Re)production of Misery among the Religious(ly) Right(eous): Coercion, Conformity, and Resistance to Hetero/Homonormative Patriarchy in Four Case Studies,” American Studies Association meetings, 2015.
“Uncanny Crossovers: Secular and Protestant Hauntings in Psycho-Medical Knowledge,” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, 2014.
“Affective Economies and Religious Worlds,” American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, 2014.
“‘White Genocide’: Digital Cultures, Ethnography, and the shape of White Nationalist Fear,” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, 2019.
“White Sexual Politics: The Gendered Politics of White Nationalism,” NORA Conference on Border Regimes, Territorial Discourses, and Feminist Politics, the University of Iceland, Reykjavik, 2019.
“LGBT Bias, Evangelicalism, and the limits of hate as an analytic tool,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, 2018.
“The Future in the Age of Biocide: The Temporality of Evangelical Ethics and Politics,” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, 2017.
“Exposing ‘Family Values’ in post-liberal times,” American Ethnological Society Meeting, 2017.
“The Interior Public: cultivating internal capacities and public imaginaries in US Evangelicalism,” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, 2016.
“Doing gender/doing religion: US Evangelicalism, the family, and the art of submission” 2015, presented at: Society for the Anthropology of Religion Bi-Annual Meeting, American Studies Association, and American Anthropological Association
“Epistemologies of Affect and Discourses of the Self: Learning to Feel God in US Evangelicalism,” Affect Theory Conference, 2015.
“Constructing Sacred Sexuality: Psychological Discourse in the Ex-gay Movement,” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, 2014.
“‘I felt His love wash over me’: Affective Truth in Evangelical Christianity,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, 2014.
“The Meaning of ‘Life’ in the Age of Biocide: The Temporality of Evangelical Ethics and Politics,” Society for the Anthropology of North America Conference, 2013.
“Morality,” part of a Keywords Panel on Austerity and Authority: Governing the Social in Crisis, American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, 2012.
“Longing for Heterosexual Belonging in Evangelical America,” Society for the Anthropology of Religion Bi-Annual Meeting, 2011.
“‘Family Values’: mediating the family and the politics of exclusion,” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, 2008.
“Cybersupremacy and the new face and form of white supremacist activism,” American Ethnological Society Meeting, 2007.
“White Nationalism as Imperial Backlash,” Society for the Anthropology of North America Conference, 2006.
“Gender, Race, and Re-imagining the White Nation in Cyberspace,” National Association for Ethnic Studies Annual Conference, 2006.
“Ignorance and Bliss: White Femininity, Sexual Violence, and the Potential for Anti-racist Alliances,” Rock Ethics Institute’s Epistemologies of Ignorance Conference, 2004.
TEACHING RELATED ACTIVITIES
New Courses Introduced
The Politics of Reproductive Health, 2015-2019.
First Year Writing Seminar, Culture and Climate Change, 2018, 2019.
Community Health Research, 2017, 2020.
Making Racism Visible: Race and the Media, 2017.
Public Scholarship: Practicum in Community Research, 2018.
Additional Courses Taught
Sociocultural Filed Methods, 2017, 2019
Race in the Americas, 2016
Gender and Cultural Politics, 2014
Reviewer for: Gender and Society, City and Society, Peasant Studies, American Ethnologist, Sex Roles, Material Religion, University of Nebraska Press, Rowman & Littlefield, Journal of Homosexuality, Journal for the Cognitive Study of Religion, Ethnos, Cultural Studies, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Journal of Rural Studies, Transforming Anthropology, Religions
Served as an expert witness in a criminal trial in Massachusetts regarding a potential white Supremacist, 2018.
New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Division Board member, 2012-2013,
Student Representative, Executive Board of the Association for Feminist Anthropology, American Anthropological Association, 2010-2012.
Graduate Student Editorial Collective Member, “Findings” Column, for AnthroNow Magazine. Responsible for quarterly contributions to column featuring recent anthropological work and editorial duties, 2009-2011.
Interviewed for story by the Associated Press.
Video interviews with USA Today and Deutsche Welle (Germany’s international broadcaster), 2019.
Interviewed for stories in NBC News and Foreign Policy, 2019.
Interviewed for stories in the New York Times, The Hill, Refinery29, and ABC News, 2018.
Interviewed for stories in the Christian Science Monitor, BBC Mundo (Spanish), the Forward, and NBC News online, 2017.
Radio interviews with All Things Considered, NPR, Busan Radio (Korea), and KPFK’s Middle East In Focus (Los Angeles), 2017.
Television interviews with NBC Nightly News and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Planet America, 2017.
Interviewed for stories in the Associated Press, ABC News, PBS, Washington Post, USA Today, 2016.
Radio interviews with All Things Considered, NPR, BBC5 and BBC4, 2016.
Television interviews with Inside Edition and MediaLine Interview (Nashville call-in TV news show with 500,000 viewership), 2015.
Radio interview with NPR-Colorado Springs, 2015.