Three Critical Theory DE Students Receive Summer Research Grants from the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion

Critical Theory congratulates Designated Emphasis students Lauren Bausch, Jean-Michel Landry, and Kris Trujillo on their selection for the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion’s 2014-2015 Graduate Student Summer Research Grants. Bausch, Landry, and Trujillo’s proposals were among nine chosen for funding after open call to UC Berkeley graduate students.

Their projects are described in detail below.

Lauren Bausch (Ph.D. Candidate in South and Southeast Asian Studies, Designated Emphasis Critical Theory)
Bausch’s dissertation articulates Kosalan philosophy according to two texts, the late Vedic Kānvīya Śatapatha Brāhmana and the early Buddhist Suttanipāta. Drawing on their historical context, she presents a regional philosophy that sheds light on the religious development of ancient India. This summer, she will travel to India and Europe to present her dissertation research to scholars and archaeologists in the field for their critical feedback. In addition, Bausch will photograph the Agnihotra ritual and present her work at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Jean-Michel Landry (Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology, Designated Emphasis Critical Theory)
Combining ethnographic and archival research, Landry’s dissertation inquires into the exercise of Shi‘a Islamic law inside and outside the apparatuses of the Lebanese state. Based on 17 months of intensive fieldwork in Lebanon, it represents an attempt to bring into sharp relief the distinctive political, epistemological, and ethical conditions under which Shi‘a Islamic law is practiced under the aegis of a postcolonial nation-state. This summer, he will travel to Lebanon in order to specific law-cases in the archives of Beirut’s Shi‘a family-law tribunal and pursue his research in an Islamic legal school.

Kris Trujillo (Ph.D. Candidate in Rhetoric, Designated Emphasis Critical Theory)
In his dissertation entitled “Jubilee of the Heart: Song, Sense, and the Poetic Construction of Mystical Experience,” Trujillo examines the aesthetic and ethical significance of music to the production of Christian mystical texts. His project reads the Song of Songs commentary tradition together with the monastic performance of Psalter recitation in order to explore the material and embodied effects of music—both in practice and as trope. This summer, Trujillo will explore monasteries and béguinages in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and France and observe, through active participation, the Divine Office at the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Cîteaux.

For more information about the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion and the award, please visit