Principal Investigators


vatican_logoKathleen Sprows Cummings is an associate professor of American studies at the University of Notre Dame. She is also the director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, and she holds concurrent appointments in the departments of history and theology. Her teaching and research interests include the history of women and American religion and the study of U.S. Catholicism. Her first book, New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era, appeared in 2009 with the University of North Carolina Press. At present Cummings is working on a new book, Citizen Saints: Catholics and Canonization in American Culture. Cummings received an NEH Fellowship to support work on this project during the academic year 2010-11.

Timothy Matovina

Timothy Matovina is professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame and past director of the Cushwa Center. His research interests include American Catholicism and particularly U.S. Latino Catholic history, theology, faith traditions, and pastoral ministry. His most recent books are Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church (Princeton, 2012), the edited volume Virgilio Elizondo: Spiritual Writings (Orbis, 2010), and Guadalupe and Her Faithful: Latino Catholics in San Antonio, from Colonial Origins to the Present (Johns Hopkins, 2005). Research support for Matovina’s work encompasses competitive grant awards from nearly every major funding source that supports academic work in theology and religion, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Academy of Religion, and the Association of Theological Schools. In addition to his scholarly work, Matovina offers presentations and workshops on U.S. Catholicism and Latino ministry and theology throughout the United States.

robert orsi

Robert Orsi is the first holder of the Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies at Northwestern University. Previously he taught at Fordham University at Lincoln Center from 1981 to 1988; Indiana University from 1988 to 2001; and Harvard Divinity School and Harvard University from 2001 to 2007, where he was chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (2003-2007). In 2002-2003, he was president of the American Academy of Religion. Orsi studies America religious history and contemporary practice; American Catholicism in both historical and ethnographic perspective; and he is widely recognized also for his work on theory and method for the study of religion. Orsi is currently at work on a collection of theoretical and methodological essays, tentatively titled Abundant History, and on a social and cultural history of 20th-century Catholic childhoods in the United States, to be published by Harvard University Press. Orsi was an altar boy in the Bronx during the Second Vatican Council.


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