PhD Candidates

Below is a select group of SHPRS PhD candidates. This group has passed their comps and had their prospectus approved, as well as opted in to having their information shared on this page. 


Abbie Harlow

Dissertation Title: Mexican Burros and Missouri Mules: The Physical Use and Cultural Significance of Burros and Mules in the American West
Advisor: Christopher Jones
Publications:  “The Burro Evil: The Removal of Feral Burros in Grand Canyon National Park, 1924-1983” The Journal of Arizona History, Vol. 60 no. 4, (Winter 2019);
“Dude’s Life,” Willa Cather Review, Vol. 61 no. 2, (Spring 2019); Review of Susan Nance, Rodeo: An Animal History (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2020). The Journal of Arizona History, Spring 2021;
Review of Maurice Crandall, These People Have Always Been a Republic: Indigenous Electorates in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 1598–1912 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019). Western Historical Quarterly, July 2020.
Presentations:  27-30 October 2021, “To the Human West and Beyond: Animals and Animal Diseases in the History of the US West,” Panel presented at the Western History Association Conference, Portland, OR
5-8 June 2019, “A Horse is a Horse, Of Course? Roundtable on Equine and Animal Power in American History,” Roundtable presented at the Agricultural History Conference, Washington, D.C.
30 November – 2 December 2018, “Rather Risk His Life in a Carriage Than Suffer on A Mule’s Back: The Use of Burros and Mules in Defining Race,” Paper presented at the Equine History Conference, Pomona, CA
14-18 March 2018, “Persistence and Power: The Cultural, Symbolic, and Environmental Role of Horses and Burros in Survivance in the American West,” Panel presented at the American Society for Environmental History Conference, Riverside, CA
3-5 March 2016, “Sacred Loss: The Role of Land in Native American Dispossession,” Paper presented at the Missouri Valley History Conference, Omaha, NE
15-18 April 2015, “Discovering Nebraska: A Pioneer’s History of Western Expansion,” Paper presented at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research, Spokane, WA
Awards Received: Graduate Research Grant, Arizona State University, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, Spring 2020 and Spring 2021
Graduate Student Workshop, Western History Association, Fall 2021

William Holly

PhD Track: 20th Century US, American West, Southwest
Dissertation Title: For the Benefit of the Mountain: Development Proposed & Opposed on Arizona's San Francisco Peaks, 1964-1978
Advisor: Julian Lim
Publications:  “Good Country Music From Amarillo and Abilene: West Texas and the Creation of Modern Country Music.” West Texas Journal of History vol. VII, 2019.
“The Commissioners of Indian Affairs: The United States Indian Service and the Making of Federal Indian Policy, 182 to 2017 by David H. DeJong.” Review. The Western Historical Quarterly 53, no. 2.
Presentations:  “West Texas & Country Music,” West Texas History Symposium Spring 2019
“Wilson v. Block and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act,” Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, 114th Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, Summer 2021 
"For the Benefit of the Mountain”: Legal and Cultural Conflicts over Development on Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks, 1970-78. Western History Association, 62nd Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, Fall 2022
Awards Received: Graduate Excellence Grant, Arizona State University, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, 2017 & 2018
Graduate Research Grant, Arizona State University, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, 2018
Jo Stewart Randel Research Grant, West Texas A&M University, Center for the Study of the American West, Summer 2019
Max Millet Family Endowed Fund, Arizona State University, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, 2021-22
Research Scholarship, Grand Canyon Historical Society, 2021-22


Rachel Levit Ades

Dissertation Title: Disability Access As A Matter of Justice
Advisor: Joan McGregor
Publications:  Nabina Liebow and Rachel Levit Ades. 2022. “‘I Know What It's Like’: Epistemic Arrogance, Disability, and Race.” Journal of the American Philosophical Association, 2022, 1–21. doi:10.1017/apa.2021.27
Rachel Levit Ades. 2020. 'An End To Blind Review.' American Philosophical Association Diversity & Inclusiveness Blog Post, posted Feb 20, 2020.
Presentations: “Lessons from the ADA: Creating a Late Work Accommodations Process for Everyone” American Philosophical Association (APA)/American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT) Teaching Hub Session 'Disabled Philosophers: Equity and Accessibility in the Philosophy Classroom' American Philosophical Association Eastern Division, January 2022
“Not ‘Everyone Becomes Disabled’” Society for Disability Studies, Ohio State University, April 2021
“The ‘Rights’ Road To Inclusion: Disability Rights, Care and Normalcy” American Association of Legal and Social Philosophy (AMINTAPHIL) Conference on Education, Inclusion, and Justice, October 2020 '
The New (Old) Social Model of Disability' UNCA 3rd Biennial Philosophy of Disability Conference, March 2020
“Visualizing A Deaf City,” April 2016 Section: Seeing Disability New Visions Graduate Conference, University of Arizona
Awards Received: First Place Essay Winner, Disability Ethics Affinity Group, Fall 2018 American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) “Against the Statue in the Stone: Disability Identity and the Counterfactual Account of Harm” ASBH Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA
ASU IHR Research Grant Recipient, Spring 2018 Presenter at Well-Being Roundtable Discussion Paper: “Disability Identity and Harm”

Aubrey C. Spivey

Dissertation Title: Justice, Model-Deviancy, and Prison Policy
Advisor: Joan McGregor
Publications:  Jennings, Carolyn Dicey; Fronda, Regino; Hunter, M. A.; Johnson King, Zoe; Spivey, Aubrey & Wilson, Sharai (2019). The Diversity and Inclusivity Survey: Final Report. APA Grants.
Spivey, A. C. (Winter 2018). Sommer, Talmer, Why Honor Matters. Reason Papers. Vol. 40, No. 2.
Presentations: “Disability, Mental Health, and Incarceration” Annual Graduate Philosophy Conference at Arizona State University, 2020
“Reason, Truth, and Counterexample” Women in Pragmatism International Conference at the Universitat de Barcelona, 2020
“Applying Abstract Principles and Getting it Wrong in the Case of Female Prisons” Intermountain Philosophy Conference at Weber State University, 2016
“Is Herman's Integration of Moral Education in a Kantian Framework Successful?” 61st Annual Meeting of the Florida Philosophical Association, 2015
“Is Herman's Integration of Moral Education in a Kantian Framework Successful?” 16th Annual Graduate Conference at Michigan State University, 2015
“Women in Prisons: A Gender Discrimination Case Study” UF/FSU Annual Graduate Philosophy Conference at the University of Florida, 2014 
“Annual Session on Teaching ‘Philosophy on the Inside: Teaching in Prison’” the 65th Annual Meeting of the Florida Philosophical Association, 2019
ASU Prison Volunteer Panel” the 7th Annual Prison Education Conference, 2018; Public Philosophy 
“Women, Prison, and Policy” SHEROES United Volunteer Reginal Meeting.
“Ethics and Star Wars: Right and Wrong in a Galaxy Far, Far Away” Phoenix Comic-Con, 2017
Awards Received: Arizona State University Graduate College Fellowship, Spring 2020
Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Leaders, 2019
Arizona Department of Corrections Educational Volunteer of the Year, 2019 
Connected Academics Pitch Competition, April 2019
NEH Institute Workshop on “Writing for a Broader Audience” at Arizona State University, 2019
Arizona State University Graduate College Fellowship, Spring 2019
Arizona State University Graduate College Fellowship, Fall 2018
Arizona State University Graduate Fellowship, Fall 2018

Religious Studies

Blayne K. Harcey

PhD Track: Religions of Asia
Dissertation Title: Locating Lumbiniī: Transnational Buddhism and the Construction of World Heritage in Nepal
Advisor: Juliane Schober
Presentations: Relics Traces and Indexes The Politics of Territory and the Construction of Memory in Encounter at Sri Pada, Presented to the “Space, Place and Religion: Mountaineering Religion in Asia & Beyond” section at the American Academy of Religion General Conference, November 2016

Mu-Lung Hsu

PhD Track: Anthropology of Religion
Dissertation Title: Engaging Suffering: Free Funeral Service Societies and a Socially Engaged Buddhist Soteriology in Contemporary Myanmar
Advisor: Juliane Schober
Publications:  Making Merit, Making Civil Society: Free Funeral Service Societies and Merit-Making in Contemporary Myanmar. Journal of Burma Studies, vol. 23, no. 1 (2019): 1-36.
(book note) Battling the Buddhe of Love: A Cultural Biography of the Greatest Statue Never Built. By Falcone, Jessica Marie. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2018. Pp. Xv + 303. Religious Studies Review 45(3): 410. 
(book note) Buddhist Law in Burma: A History Of Dhammasattha Texts and Jurisprudence, 1250‐1850. By D. Christian Lammerts. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2018. Pp. Xi + 288. Religious Studies Review 45(2): 249.
Presentations: Saving Others, Saving Ourselves: "Buddhist" Social Welfare Organizations in Contemporary Myanmar. Presented on March 21 at the 2020 American Asian Studies Annual Conference, Boston, MA. (canceled due to COVID-19)
Free Funeral for All: Free Funeral Service Societies and Social Inclusion in Myanmar. Presented on March 21 at the 2019 American Asian Studies Annual Conference, Denver, CO.
Merit-Making in Civil Society: Myanmar’s Free Funeral Service Societies and New Humanitarianism. Presented on March 22 at Inaugural Theravada Studies Conference 2018, Washington, D.C.
Awards Received: The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies, 2020

Isobel-Marie Johnston

PhD Track:  Anthropology of Religion
Dissertation Title: Immersion Healing in the context of American Jewish concepts of ritual, body, and healing
 Joel Gereboff
Publications:  “Out of the mikvah and onto to a PhD” San Diego Jewish World, January 5, 2021 “Dressing the Part: Ethics of Insider/Outsider Attire for the Ethnography of American-Jewish Niddah” Fieldwork in Religion: Special Issues Ethics in Fieldwork 12:2 (2018) 179-203.
The History of Niddah in America as Social Drama: Genealogy of a Ritual Practice (Thesis, 2016)
Presentations: “Feminism and the Menstrual Other” Arizona State University – School of Social Transformation Graduate Student Conference, March 2019
“Niddah and Marriage as Conscious Mind” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 2018
“Jewish Marriage in Corporeal Time: the rhythm and rhyme of Niddah” Society for Anthropology of Religion Annual Meeting, May 2017
“Embodying Jewish Sexuality: Interpretations of Contemporary Niddah Practice” University of Texas – Austin Multidisciplinary Graduate Conference: Embodiment, Corporeality, and the Senses in Religion, April 2017
“Niddah Apologetics as a War Between the Sexes” Arizona State University Graduate Association of Religious Studies 2017 Symposium: Interactions and Resistances, April 2017
“The Menstrual Other: Reorienting Scholarship on Menstrual Rituals” University of North Carolina—Charlotte Graduate Conference on Religion and the Other, March 2016 
“Jewish Purity Laws as a Template for Environmental Consciousness” Northwestern University Department of Religious Studies Graduate Conference on Religion and the Natural Elements, October 2014
Awards Received: 2019 Great Students Graduate Fellowship ($2000) Arizona State University – Jewish Studies Funding my attendance at the Advanced Summer School for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, Israel, July 2019.
2019 SHPRS Research Grant ($1500) Funding triad membership with American Academy of Anthropology (AAA) with the following relevant subsection memberships: Association of Feminist Anthropology (AFA) and Society for the Anthropology of Religion (SAR) and attendance at SAR Biennial Conference in Toronto, Canada, May 2019.
2018 Great Students Graduate Fellowship ($2000) Arizona State University – Jewish Studies Funding pilot research survey of menstrual practices in the Jewish community of Greater Phoenix 2015 “A Collective Vision: Manifesto for the Humanities in the 21st Century” Arizona State University—Institute for Humanities Research: Graduate Student Essay Competition
2002 “Diverse Goals, Common Routes” Illinois State University— Council of Teacher Education: Academic Essay Competition