Kate DeConinck

Kate DeConinck
Phone: (619) 260-4055
Fax: (619) 260-2260
Office: Maher Hall 296

Adjunct Assistant Professor

  • Th.D., Harvard Divinity School, Religion and Society (2015)
  • M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School, Religion, Ethics, and Politics (2010)
  • B.A., Connecticut College, English and Religious Studies (2008)

Kate DeConinck, ThD, teaches courses in world religions and religious studies. Her specializations include: anthropology of religion; the lived religion approach; religion and politics in the United States; religion, race, and the U.S. prison system; and, religion in the wake of mass tragedies. DeConinck's primary research focus is on the ways in which individuals and communities respond to life-shattering events such as 9/11, and how religion, rituals, and memorialization can help them to find viable paths forward. 

Scholarly Work

DeConinck's research centers around the various ways in which individuals and communities respond to mass tragedies and other life-shattering events. Between 2011 and 2014, she conducted ethnographic fieldwork at sites of 9/11 remembrance in New York City, spending time at local museums, religious houses of worship, and commemorative ceremonies. Her dissertation illuminates the significances of storytelling, walking, and memorialization for docents at the 9/11 Tribute Center, where survivors, first responders, family members, and others share their stories with tourists during daily walking tours. DeConinck presents academic papers regularly at the American Academy of Religion, and her scholarly articles have appeared in publications such as the Harvard Divinity Bulletin and Cosmologics: a magazine of science, religion, and culture.

Areas of Interest

As an anthropologist of religion, DeConinck believes that learning is best achieved when it entails stepping outside of one's comfort zone and engaging new persons, places, ideas, and perspectives. In keeping with an active and experiential approach to education, she invites her students to move beyond the classroom and connect with local communities. In so doing, they often come to develop a deeper awareness of and appreciation for the diversity, dynamism, and ambiguity of religious life in today's world.