Kristin Kobes Du Mez


Education

  • B.A., History and German, Dordt College
  • Ph.D., American History, specialties in women's history and religious history, University of Notre Dame

Biography

"I've enjoyed work-related travel recently to Switzerland, London, Wales, and Scotland--not bad for an Americanist. Closer to home, my hobbies include reintroducing native plants to our urban acreage, trying (and often failing) at gardening, and spending time with my three kids."

Kristin Du Mez enjoys teaching courses in US social and cultural history, and in recent years her students have worked on developing historical walking tours for the GR Walks app. Thus far topics have included an East Grand Rapids walking tour of Ramona Park, a downtown Grand Rapids historical river walk, and a historical walking tour of beer in Grand Rapids.

Academic interests

Kristin Du Mez's research areas include gender and religion in late-19th and 20th-century U.S. history, specifically gender, religion, and foreign policy, and the intersections between Christianity and feminism.

Her recent book, A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism, was published by Oxford University Press in May, 2015. The book traces the remarkable life and innovative theology of Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), an intrepid social reformer and anti-trafficking activist.  

Her next research project, "Journey of Faith: A Religious History of Hillary Rodham Clinton," examines Clinton's Methodist faith, and brings to light the often hidden influences of progressive Christianity on American politics and society. 

Professor Du Mez is a member of Gender Studies committee. She has served as a Calvin College Teaching Fellow. She is also on the editorial board for Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought.

Read Kristin Du Mez's posts on Historical Horizons, the history department blog.

Courses taught

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Publications

Current Projects
  • Journey of Faith: A Religious History of Hillary Rodham Clinton
Articles and book chapters
  • “Katharine Bushnell’s God’s Word to Women: Theology and Social Reform in Victorian America,” inFinding Themselves: Women and the Bible in the Nineteenth Century. (Volume in The Bible and Women: An Encyclopaedia of Exegesis and Cultural History, forthcoming).
  • “Reorienting American Religious History: The Case of Katharine Bushnell,” in American Evangelicalism: George Marsden and the Shape of American Religious History, edited by Darren Dochuk, Thomas S. Kidd, and Kurt W. Peterson. University of Notre Dame Press, 2014.
  • “Selfishness One Degree Removed: Madeline Southard’s Desacralization of Motherhood and a Tradition of Progressive Methodism,” Priscilla Papers 28, no. 2 (Spring 2014): 17-22.    
  • “Katharine Bushnell” and “Lee Anna Starr,” in Biographical History of Women Biblical Interpreters. Baker Academic Press, 2012.
  • “Leaving Eden: Resurrecting the Work of Katharine Bushnell and Lee Anna Starr,” in Breaking Boundaries: Female Biblical Interpreters who Challenged the Status Quo. T&T Clark, 2010.
  • The Beauty of the Lilies: Femininity, Innocence, and the Sweet Gospel of Uldine Utley,” Religion and American Culture 15, no. 2 (Summer 2005): 209-243. 
Reviews
  • Review of Edward Humes, Over Here: How the G.I. Bill Transformed the American Dream (Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2006), in Minds in the Making 03, no. 2 (Spring 2008); Reprinted as “The Legislation That Made the Greatest Generation.” Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought, 22, no. 10 (December 2007).
  • Review of R. Marie Griffith’s Born Again Bodies: Flesh and Spirit in American Christianity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004) in Fides et Historia, Vol. 38, No. 1, Winter/Spring 2006.
Recent Blog Posts & Additional Publications
Invited Talks
  • "Hillary Clinton’s Faith and the Place of Progressive Christianity in American Public Life," October 29-31, 2015, Iowa Conference on Presidential Politics (Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA)
  • "The Crime Is the Fruit of the Theology: Sexual Purity, Christian Patriarchy, and the First Wave of Global Anti-Trafficking Activism," November 4, 2015 (Hope College, Holland, MI)
  • "Purity, Patriarchy, and the First Wave of Christian Anti-Trafficking Activism," November 11, 2015, Calvin College Sexuality Series (Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI)
  • "Methodist Women and Progressive Christianity: From Katharine Bushnell to Hillary Clinton," March 10, 2016 (Park Ridge United Methodist Church, Park Ridge, IL)

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