Laura McTighe

Assistant Professor
Department of Religion
Florida State University

Laura McTighe is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Florida State University and the Co-Founder and Associate Director of Front Porch Research Strategy in New Orleans. As a scholar of religion, gender, and race in the United States, she brings a particular focus on the American South and Gulf Coast. Her work is deeply interdisciplinary, bridging the fields of anthropology, geography, queer studies, Black studies, and public health. It is also deeply collaborative. Her first book project, Fire Dreams: Theory on the Ground in the New New Orleans, is a collaborative ethnography of southern Black feminist histories of mutual aid and transformative justice, written in partnership with the leaders of New Orleans’ Women With A Vision after their offices were firebombed and destroyed in a still-uninvestigated arson attack. Her next book project, “Moral Medicine,” traces how religion and science have intersected throughout the history of gendered criminalization, since before the abolition of slavery and amid the making of the Jim Crow carceral sphere. She is also completing a public humanities project on “teaching abolition,” which will examine the role of religion in excavating our histories of punishment, mapping our prison nation, and creating more just futures. Her research has been supported by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars’ Charlotte W. Newcomb Fellowship, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Institute for Religion, Culture, & Public Life, and the Dartmouth College Venture Fund. Presently, she also serves on the boards of Transforming Reentry Services in Chicago and Reconstruction, Inc. in Philadelphia.