Religious Studies Welcomes Elena Kravchenko

Elena Kravchenko will join the Washington University in St. Louis Program in Religious Studies as a lecturer this fall. Dr. Kravchenko received her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2017. Her dissertation is titled Orthodox Women in America: The Making of a Liberal-Conservative Subject. It is a multi-lingual, multi-site, three-year ethnographic study that explores the religious lives of contemporary Russian immigrant women in the United States and American women who convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Her other research interests include Religion and Material Culture; Diasporic Religion/Trans-Atlantic Christianity/Orthodox Christianity in the United States; Embodiment, Agency and Subjectivity in the Study of Religion; and Religion, Gender, Race and Ethnicity.

This fall Dr. Kravchenko will be teaching “Thinking About Religion,” an introductory course that explores questions such as “what is religion and how can we study it?” She will also teach a seminar on “Religion in the Kitchen.” This course analyzes practices of food preparation and everyday talk, thereby highlighting the kitchen as an active, material space: not merely subject to human meaning-making, but an agent, in its own right, assisting humans in creating meaning and identity.

We are very excited to welcome Dr. Kravchenko to our program and to WashU!