Max Johnson Dugan

PhD Candidate


Cohen 229


Max Johnson Dugan is a Visiting Instructor Professor of Religious Studies at Kenyon College and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. At Kenyon College, he teaches courses on Islam and material religion, including "Islam's Diverse Paths," "Islam in North America," "Encountering Religion in its Global Context," and "Religious Bodies, Objects, and Affects." 

Max's research focuses on Islamic material and visual culture, embodiment, and emotions. His dissertation examines Halal consumption in Philadelphia using a combination of ethnographic and digital humanistic methods in order to understand how Islamic traditions, racialization, and the contingencies of urban life give halal consumer goods their purchase. The project speaks to issues of class, ethnicity, and communal authority, while offering insight into non-elite, lived Islam in the United States.

In addition to his dissertation, Max has ongoing research projects on popular Islamic art in the US, the affective dynamics of basketball in Muslim communities, and postcolonial affects. Digital humanistic praxis is a core component of his scholarship and teaching. Learn more about the DH projects which he has led or been involved with:


MA, Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania

BA, Religious Studies, Kenyon College

Research Interests

Islamic material and visual culture, embodiment, and affect
Islam in North America
Halal consumption
Digital humanities
Religion and Sport

Research Areas
American Religions
Material and Visual Culture
Courses Taught

Spring 2020: Teaching Assistant, "Islam and the West" 

Fall 2019: Teaching Assistant, "Religion and Science" 

Spring 2019: Teaching Assistant, "Religion and Sports"

Fall 2018: Teaching Assistant, "Islam in the Modern World"

Selected Publications

American Academy of Religion

CV (file)