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CRGC Fellows

The Saint Louis University Center for Research on Global Catholicism (CRGC) proudly offers a Fellows program. Below is a list of the current SLU CRGC Fellows.

CRGC Fellow Cloe Cavero

Cloe Cavero de Carondelet

Project Title: "The Renaissance of Child Martyrs in the Early Modern Iberian World"

Cloe Cavero is a specialist in early modern art and visual culture, focusing on Spain, Italy and Latin America. After receiving her Ph.D., from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and a lecturer at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Her research has appeared in the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Print Quarterly, and the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, among others. Her current book project traces the post-Tridentine revival of the images and cults of child martyrs in the early modern Iberian world. By examining complex artworks by painters such as Francisco de Zurbarán and Cristóbal de Villalpando alongside humble representations in far-flung local shrines, and the circulation of prints between Manila, Madrid, and Mexico, this project unveils the centrality and creativity of Hispanic visual culture in the age of colonial expansion and Catholic evangelization.

CRGC Matthew Elia

Matthew Elia

Project Title: "Making Solidarity Global: Climate Migration, Race, and the Future of Catholic Moral Thought"

Matthew Elia is assistant professor of theology, race, and environment at Saint Louis University. His first book, The Problem of the Christian Master: Augustine in the Afterlife of Slavery, is forthcoming with Yale University Press. He earned his Ph.D., in the Graduate Program of Religion at Duke University, supported by an ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Fellowship. He is currently working on a second book on climate justice, race, and migration, tentatively titled We Are Each Other's Harvest: Solidarity at the End of the World.

CRGC Fellow Gabrielle Guillerm

Gabrielle Guillerm

Project Title: "Catholic Supremacy: French Missionaries and Westward Expansion in the Early Republic"

Gabrielle Guillerm is a historian specializing in the intersection of Catholicism and white supremacy. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from the Sorbonne (Paris, France) and a Ph.D., in History from Northwestern University. Her first book project examines how French missionaries helped entrenched white supremacy in the American West in the decades following the American and French Revolutions. She is the research coordinator for truth and healing at Mahpíya Lùta (Red Cloud School). Led by the Oglala Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, this Truth and Healing project seeks to confront the history of this former Jesuit boarding school for Lakota children.


CRGC Fellow Michael Iyanaga

Michael Iyanaga

Project Title: "Genealogies of a Saint's Song: Silenced Histories of Africa in Bahia, Brazil"

Michael Iyanaga is the John & Audrey Leslie Associate Professor of Music and Latin American Studies at William and Mary. Iyanaga's historical and ethnographic work is largely concerned with studying Catholic saint devotional practices in Brazil and the Atlantic world from the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries.

CRGC Fellow Stephanie Kirk

Stephanie Kirk

Project Title: "Bodies as Books: Early Modern Jesuit Writings on Global Martyrdom"

Stephanie Kirk is director of the Center for the Humanities and Professor of Hispanic Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where she also holds affiliate appointments in Religious Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. A specialist in gender and Catholicism in colonial Latin America, she is the author of two books, two edited volumes, and numerous articles and essays. She is working on her third monograph, Bodies as Books: Early Modern Jesuit Writings on Global Martyrdom. Additionally, she is currently engaged in a translation and scholarly edition of Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora's 17th-century chronicle of convent life in Mexico City, Western Paradise.

CRGC Carlos Ruiz Martinez

Carlos Ruiz Martinez

Project Title: "Redescribing the Sanctuary Movement: Religion, the State, and Immigration Control in the 21st Century"

Carlos Ruiz Martinez is a Ph.D., student in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Iowa. Carlos is broadly interested in how the category of religion has been defined and redefined across different historical and social contexts. His dissertation explores how federal immigration agencies in the United States have engaged the category of religion and its actors as a means to control the flow of immigrants near the U.S.-Mexico border. In the 1980s, federal immigration agencies criminalized people of faith who were seeking to provide refuge to Central American immigrants who crossed the Southern border irregularly. Today, federal agencies work closely and intentionally with faith-based migrant shelters near the border. Carlos' dissertation explores this shift, as well as the relationship between church, state, and migration in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

CRGC Fellow Tom Morin

Tom Morin

Project Title: "Corsairs for Christ: Crusading and Maritime Theft in the Mediterranean, 1099-1409"

Thomas Morin is a 6th-year Ph.D., candidate in the Department of History at Saint Louis University. Tom's interests include Italy and the Crusades from the 12th through the 14th centuries. His research utilizes chronicles and archival sources to analyze social, political, and cultural interactions in the context of crusading and maritime theft in the Mediterranean. The title of his dissertation is Blood on the Page: Genoa, the Latin East, and Competing Narrative Traditions in the Medieval Mediterranean, 1099-1409. Before his time at SLU, Tom achieved the rank of captain in the U.S. Army.

CRGC Fellow Darby Ratliff

Darby Ratliff

Project Title: "Church-State-School: Boarding Schools and Catholic Education in the 19th Century"

Darby Ratliff is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of American Studies at Saint Louis University and holds a Pre-Doctoral Public Humanities Fellowship in partnership with the Missouri Historical Society. Darby's dissertation focuses on the intersecting histories of Catholic education in the 19th century, looking specifically at schools for white and indigenous children along the upper Mississippi region.

CRGC Fellow Miguel Valerio

Miguel A. Valerio

Project Title: "Architects of Their World: The Artistic and Ritualistic Spaces of Afro-Brazilian Brotherhoods"

Miguel A. Valerio is assistant professor of Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis. Professor Valerio is a scholar of the African diaspora in the Iberian world. His research has focused on Black Catholic brotherhoods or confraternities and Afro-creole festive practices in colonial Latin America, especially Mexico and Brazil. He is author of Sovereign Joy: Afro-Mexican Kings and Queens, 1539-1640 (Cambridge University Press, 2022) and a co-editor of Indigenous and Black Confraternities in Colonial Latin America: Negotiating Status through Religious Practices (Amsterdam University Press, 2022). He is currently working on his second book project, Architects of Their World: The Artistic and Ritualistic Spaces of Afro-Brazilian Brotherhoods (under contract with Cambridge University Press). His research has appeared in various academic journals, including Slavery and Abolition, Colonial Latin American Review, The Americas, the Journal of Festive Studies, and Latin American Research Review.

CRGC Fellow Stephanie Wong

Stephanie Wong

Project Title: "Land, Legacy, and Liturgies: Chinese Catholic Ancestor Veneration Rituals in Taiwan and the U.S."

Stephanie Wong is an assistant professor at Villanova University in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, where she teaches Catholic theology and East Asian traditions. Her scholarly work focuses on Chinese Catholicism and is both interreligious and transnational in focus. She is interested in how Chinese Catholics have reckoned intellectually and spiritually with Buddhist, Confucian, Daoist, and Communist visions in their local milieu, analyzing how Catholic theology has developed in East Asia through a contextual and comparative lens. Wong is also interested in the geo-political dynamics of lived Catholicism, especially as Chinese Catholic communities span different languages, geographies, and generations across and beyond the sinosphere. Before starting at Villanova, Stephanie taught at Valparaiso University and studied at Georgetown University (Ph.D.), Yale University (m.Div.) and Washington University in St. Louis (B.A.). She has been involved in a range of social scientific, ecclesial, theological, and community-building efforts, such as participating in a Yale-CUHK study of religious communities in Hong Kong, the Vatican's network of Women Building a Culture of Encounter interreligious dialogue group, co-leading the American Academy of Religion's Chinese Christianities Group and the Catholic Theological Society of America's comparative Theology Group, and serving on the Board of Interfaith Philadelphia.