Erika B. Seamon, Ph.D. teaches for and directs the American Studies Program.
She received The Faculty Excellence Award for Georgetown College in 2015, awarded by the College Academic Council to one professor based upon student nominations. Dr. Seamon continually develops new pedagogical approaches for bringing students of diverse perspectives together to engage with the colliding narratives of our nation's past and present. She has served as a Doyle Faculty Fellow on multiple occasions, and participates in the Americas Initiative.
Dr. Seamon's research interests explore the intersections of American culture, religion, and gender. She is particularly interested in the histories of marriage and education in the United States. Marriage and education, as continually evolving social constructions, challenge artificial divides between private-public and religious-secular spaces, offering a window into dominant narratives associated with religious and gender-based diversity in American life.
Her current research is centered on the tensions that surface in the encounter between the secular forces of law and the religious forces of American society and culture. In her forthcoming book, she will offer a framework for understanding how this process works and the productive and necessary role that inherent tensions play.
In her book, Interfaith Marriage in America: The Transformation of Religion and Christianity, Dr. Seamon uses intermarriage to chronicle the shifting boundaries between and among prominent religious communities throughout U.S. history. She thinks critically about how the slow disintegration of cultural barriers to intermarriage destabilized national and transnational religious traditions and narratives, at different historical moments. As American families negotiate differences and build bridges among their extended families and communities, they are re-imagining foundational understandings of belief, practice, community, and personal identity.
Dr. Seamon developed the guidelines for American Studies senior thesis projects, directs the senior thesis seminar for majors, and teaches core courses as well as upper-level elective courses on religion in American public life. She holds degrees in religious studies, liberal studies, social and public policy, and business administration. Prior to joining the Georgetown community, Dr. Seamon was a partner at Kuczmarski Innovation and taught at the University of Chicago.
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