Emily D. Crews

"At Home in the Lord: Nigerian Immigrant Religions and The Task of Home-Making in Chicago"
My dissertation uses both ethnographic and theoretical approaches to examine the religious lives of African immigrants in Chicago.  In particular, it asks what role religion plays in the process by which Nigerians in diaspora create homes in new geographical and epistemological places/spaces.  In dealing with issues of gender; sexuality; health; economy; and agency, power, and authority, my dissertation explores both the negative and positive aspects of religion in immigrants' attempts at homemaking, emphasizing the status of religion as a tool to be wielded by various situated and interested social actors.  
I am honored and excited to take part in the Marty Center Junior Fellow program.  It offers the chance to interact with both other young scholars and members of a wider public, whose ideas about our common topic of interest – "religion" – might be remarkably dufferent from my own and one anothers', making for a rich and inspiring opportunity for discussion and collaboration.