Red Sisters, Womanly Fathers, and Queer Domesticities: Radical Pietism, Kinship, and Intimacy in Lenape and Mohican Homelands


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships


The Study of Religion


Drawing from religious and Indigenous studies, queer theory, as well as spatial modeling and community-involved research methodologies, this interdisciplinary study of the eighteenth-century American Northeast interrogates how religion intersects with formations of kinship and intimacy. The project elucidates these intersections among a diverse set of Lenape and Mohican actors, European settlers, and people of African descent affiliated with radical Pietism, a dissenting Christian expression emphasizing personal spiritual experience and communitarian living. Multi-lingual archives, built environments, and material cultures show how Pietist religious practice challenged both Indigenous and settler kin systems and, in some cases, made space for non-normative (or queer) constructions of family, intimacy, and domesticity. Throughout, the project argues that kinship and intimacy form a framework for the study of religion that allows for intercultural comparison and relationality without essentializing and losing sight of epistemological differences among cultures and the diversity of relational arrangements between individual, community, and space.