Kathryn  Gin Lum
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Kathryn Gin Lum, Department Chair

Professor of Religious Studies and, by courtesy, History

Kathryn Gin Lum is Professor in the Religious Studies Department, in collaboration with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. She is also Professor, by courtesy, of History in affiliation with American Studies and Asian American Studies. Her teaching and research focus on the lived ramifications of religious beliefs; she specializes in the history of religion and race in America.

Professor Gin Lum’s most recent book, Heathen: Religion and Race in American History (Harvard University Press 2022), looks at how the figure of the “heathen” in need of salvation underlies American conceptions of race. Heathen received the 2023 Merle Curti Award in Intellectual History from the Organization of American Historians and the 2023 S-USIH Book Award from the Society for U.S. Intellectual History. 

Her previous book, Damned Nation: Hell in America from the Revolution to Reconstruction (Oxford University Press 2014), asks how widespread belief in hell influenced Americans’ perceptions of themselves and the rest of the world in the first century of nationhood. She is also co-editor (with Paul Harvey) of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History (Oxford University Press 2018).

Professor Gin Lum received her B.A. in History from Stanford and her Ph.D. in History from Yale. She is the recipient of the Annenberg Faculty Fellowship, awarded to outstanding junior faculty (2012-14; 2017-19), the Stanford Asian American Awards Faculty Award (2018), and the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in the School of Humanities and Sciences, First Years of Teaching (2016-17). She regularly teaches courses like “Exploring American Religious History,” “Constructing Race and Religion in America,” “Writing Religious History,” and “Is Stanford a Religion?”

Professor Gin Lum directs the American Religions in a Global Context (ARGC) Initiative. For more information about the ARGC, please see argc.stanford.edu.



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