Faculty Bio

Kirsten Wesselhoeft

Assistant Professor of Religion

Kirsten Wesselhoeft is an Instructor in the Religion Department at Vassar College. She is an ethnographer of ethics and social change in the Islamic tradition. She teaches courses on Islamic studies, religion and the social sciences, Muslim ethics, and gender and religion. Her current research is an ethnographic study of Muslim education and activism in greater Paris. This project investigates the ways in which contemporary French Muslims have worked to transform their faith communities, their selves, and their society through practices of learning, teaching, and social engagement. In the broadest sense, her work asks how and why we try to improve ourselves morally, and what relationship these projects of self-improvement have to our efforts to change the world around us. Her articles and essays have been published in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, and the Journal of Religious Ethics (forthcoming). She received her BA from Willamette University, her MTS from Harvard Divinity School, and in 2016 will complete her PhD in the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University.