Graduate Student, Religion, Columbia University
Laura McTighe is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Religion at Columbia University. She comes to her doctoral studies through nearly twenty years of grassroots activism to end state violence and advance community healing. Her research examines the co-constitution of race and religion, of gender and governance, in the American and Global South today by ethnographically centering women’s geographies and archives of struggle. Her dissertation project, “This Day, We Use Our Energy for Revolution”– Black Feminist Ethics of Survival, Struggle, and Renewal in the new New Orleans, has been supported by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Institute for Religion, Culture, & Public Life. She is also completing a book-length project on HIV, gender, and Islam with South African scholar/activist Farid Esack. To date, her writings have been published in Beyond Walls and Cages: Bridging Immigrant Justice and Anti-Prison Organizing in the United States (2012), the International Journal for Law and Psychiatry (2011), Islam and AIDS: Between Scorn, Pity and Justice (2009), and a variety of community publications. McTighe is the Co-Founder of the Front Porch Research Strategy in New Orleans, and serves as a Board Member to Men & Women In Prison Ministries in Chicago and Reconstruction, Inc. in Philadelphia.