Amy DeRogatis

derogat1@msu.edu
(517) 432-7158

733 Wells Hall

FacultyReligious Studies

Professor
Department Chairperson

Religion, Sex, Gender; Religion in North America; Religion and Sound; Religion and the Public

Biography

Amy DeRogatis is Chair and Professor of religion and American culture in the Department of Religious Studies at Michigan State University. She is the recipient of the William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award. The award recognizes excellence across the mission of the university.

Dr. DeRogatis’ research focuses on the multiple ways that religious groups, people, and communities in the US express religious ideas, commitments, beliefs, and knowledge through embodied practices.  Her most recent book Saving Sex: Sexuality and Salvation in American Evangelicalism (Oxford, 2015) delved into the history of popular evangelical sex manuals and the efforts that authors made to convince readers that embodied sexual practices and restraints constitute a form of witnessing to their faith. Her first book, Moral Geography: Maps, Missionaries, and the American Frontier (Columbia University Press, 2003) used cultural geography and spatial theory to examine white Protestant missionary efforts to shape the space of nineteenth-century northeastern Ohio. Drawing on an archive of letters, diaries, publications, and maps from the Connecticut Missionary Society, she argues that missionaries found evidence for their success by inscribing their moral values onto the physical landscape.  DeRogatis is at work on a third book, Mormon King about James Jesse Strang and the Strangite community on Beaver Island, MI. She is currently completing an article about a daguerreotype of Elvira Eliza Field Strang (Strang’s first plural wife), cross-dressed as his fictitious nephew Charley Douglass.

Dr. DeRogatis is also the co-director of the American Religious Sounds Project, a collaborative digital initiative, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, to document and interpret the diversity of American religious life by attending to its varied sonic cultures. The ARSP has recently been featured for its work on religious sounds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education

Ph.D., University of North Carolina (Religious Studies)

M.T.S, Harvard Divinity School

B.A., Oberlin College

Principle Scholarly Interests

Religion in the United States,  religion, gender, and sexuality, Evangelicalism, religion and sound, religion and embodiment, 19th-century Protestant missionaries.

Courses

REL 101 Exploring Religions

REL 220 Religion in the United States

REL 291 Digital Religion

REL 365 Evangelicalism in the United States

REL 491 Religion, Sexuality and Gender

REL 491 Religion and the Senses

University News

Eight-Year Study on the Sound of Religion Culminates in Interactive Auditory Exhibit
Published May 31, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
Religion and sound are tied together in evocative ways. Church bells. Public proselytizing. Calls to prayer. Tantric chanting. What does religion sound like, and how can we learn new truths about…Read now »
Amy DeRogatis Appointed Department of Religious Studies Chairperson
Published August 3, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
Amy DeRogatis, Professor of Religion and American Culture, is the new Chairperson of the Department of Religious Studies, appointed to a five-year term that began July 15, 2021. DeRogatis has been part of the Department of Religious Studies faculty since August 1998. Read now »
Conversations with CAL – Sounds of Religion Project
Published February 4, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
screen capture of a woman and man in circles with a green background
What does religion in the United States sound like? We begin by exploring the question that animates the American Religious Sounds Project (ARSP), a collaborative research initiative co-directed by Michigan State University Religious Studies Professor Amy DeRogatis and Ohio State University Comparative Studies Professor Isaac Weiner. Read now »
CAL in the Classroom
Published November 16, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
Alumni and retired faculty and staff had the opportunity to attend a virtual event on November 7 where attendees got an insider’s look at the research and education of MSU’s College Arts & Letters while networking with fellow alumni, faculty, and students.Read now »
How Religions Around the World Are Keeping the Faith During COVID-19
Published April 6, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
a person praying
COVID-19 has rocked everyday life for people around the world, requiring religious communities to shift worship at a time that many consider the most holiest of the year. Daily and weekly…Read now »
Three Faculty Members to Receive All-University Awards
Published January 23, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
picture collage of three faculty member's headshots
Three College of Arts & Letters faculty members are being recognized for their outstanding work and will receive distinguished awards at this year’s Michigan State…Read now »
MSU/OSU Project Breaks New Ground in Religious Studies
Published June 3, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
A one-of-a-kind resource, developed by researchers at Michigan State University and The Ohio State University, is breaking new ground in the area of religious studies by offering scholars and…Read now »
American Religious Sounds Project Awarded $750,000 Grant
Published September 21, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
a woman and man smiling at camera against a brightly lit background
A joint, multidisciplinary project between Michigan State University and The Ohio State University that examines sounds of religion throughout the United States, and which first began in 2015,…Read now »
Mapping the Sounds of Religion
Published November 29, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
A row of bells hanging from ribbon in front of the setting sun
What does religion in the Global Midwest sound like? Where should one go to hear it? How might we understand religious diversity in the global Midwest if we begin by listening? The Religious Soundmap Project invites broad public audiences to experience the religious diversity of the Midwest through sound. The hope is to invite new ways of thinking about religion in the global Midwest.Read now »
American Religious Sounds Project Awarded Grant
Published July 13, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
a man and woman standing on a stair case
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCHEY3GrdDU&feature=emb_title The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded a two-year $200,000 grant to support a joint religious studies project of Michigan State…Read now »
Global Digital Humanities Symposium
Published March 9, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
global digital humanities symposium poster
MSU Hosting First Global Digital Humanities Symposium MSU’s Digital Humanities Program is hosting its first symposium on global digital humanities with a focus on the Global South on April…Read now »
Dr. Amy DeRogatis Named Faculty Excellence Advocate
Published February 2, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
a woman with short hair wearing a purple dress
College of Arts & Letters Dean Christopher P. Long has named Dr. Amy DeRogatis, professor of Religion and American Culture in the Department of Religious Studies, as Faculty Excellence…Read now »
College of Arts & Letters Student Awarded the Beinecke Scholarship
Published April 24, 2015 in College of Arts & Letters
photo of a young man smiling in front of a cabinet of skulls
Joshua Schnell has been nominated by Michigan State University for the nationally competitive Beinecke Scholarship, which pays for graduate studies in the arts, humanities and social…Read now »
Amy DeRogatis Awarded Grant for Studying “Soundscapes” of Religion
Published February 4, 2015 in College of Arts & Letters
a woman with short hair wearing a purple dress
The Midwest is becoming more religiously diverse, and with that comes new sounds that can shape communities, says a Michigan State University researcher who will use a grant to create a digital…Read now »