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Department ofReligious Studies

Michelle Mueller

Michelle Mueller

Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer

Michelle Mueller has degrees from the Graduate Theological Union, the Pacific School of Religion, and Bryn Mawr College. Her research focuses on gender and sexuality in new religious movements. Mueller's dissertation examined alternative religious families' uses of reality television as a medium for public advocacy (e.g., Sister Wives). Interested particularly in California's religious legacies, Mueller has spent time doing participant-observation within local Wiccan communities. Mueller has been a Visiting Scholar of Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics & Ritual (WATER), a Christine Downing Dissertation Fellow, and the recipient of two Newhall Teaching Fellowships.


RSOC 9 Ways of Understanding Religion
RSOC 51 Religion in America
RSOC 99 Sociology of Religion
RSOC 116/ANTH 174 Religion & Ethnography
RSOC 117 Is Scientology a Religion?
RSOC 119 Media and Religion

"Escaping the perils of sensationalist television reduction: A&E Networks' Escaping Polygamy as a reality TV atrocity tale," Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions 22.3 (Feb 2019): 60-83.
"The chalice and the rainbow: conflicts between women's spirituality and transgender rights in US Wicca in the 2010s," in Female Leaders in New Religious Movements, edited by Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen and Christian Giudice (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2017).

In the News

April 1, 2021

Roberto Mata spoke at Harvard's ReVista Launch with the theme of religion and spirituality.

March 17, 2021

Advocates put forth H. Westley Clark as a candidate for the top drug policy official because of his specialized experience fighting substance-use disorders. Also Washington Post 2Politico, and News India Times.

March 11, 2021

Tom Plante encourages others to help one another to relieve stress during these unprecedented times.