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Department ofReligious Studies

Justina Torrance

Justina Torrance

Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer

I study (among other things) how people can manage to ignore facts that do not fit their worldviews. My current research project draws together Herman Melville, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison—thinkers and writers not often examined together, but who share deep connections—to analyze the social and political effects of this ignorance.

I received my BA with distinction in psychology from Stanford University, where I worked in a lab that studied willpower and temptation. Then I decided I wanted to pursue moral and ethical questions in ways not limited by quantitative methods, so I earned a coterminal MA in religious studies from Stanford and later an MTS from Harvard Divinity School. I received my PhD in religion and society from Harvard University in 2022.

My publications include contributions to the Cambridge Handbook of Ethics and Education (forthcoming 2023), A New Companion to Herman Melville (Wiley-Blackwell 2022), and an article on moral perception in the work of American philosopher William James (WJS), which won the William James Society’s Young Scholar Prize in 2020.