Donna L. Seamone, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Comparative Religion, Department of History & Classics

Phone: (902) 585-1267

Research Interests

My main research proficiencies are in the performance approach to ritual and ethnographic approaches to the study of lived religion. The combination of ritual studies and narrative approaches to the study of experience, including ethnographic life history and illness narratives, makes both the lives of particular persons and the wider community the locus of inquiry. Theoretically and methodologically, I approach academic inquiry as a religious studies scholar employing an interdisciplinary approach and social scientific theory and methods. The unifying frames of my research and teaching are ritual-performance, narrative, body, and experience. My work focuses on religious systems as cultures, to the interface between religion and culture and to issues of gender, ethnicity, race and class.

My major work to date is an ethnographic study of Afro-Canadian-Caribbean Pentecostal ritual and daily life. Based on a two-year fieldwork study of an Afro-Caribbean-Canadian Pentecostal Church, this work is directed at rectifying the dearth of attention paid to Black worship in Canada and individual experience in ritual. Topics addressed include geographic and spiritual migrations of a trans‑national subject, embodiment of religious metaphors, oral traditions in religious life and community, and the role of ritual and memory in conversion and the interface of ritualized systems of care–those of Pentecostalism and biomedicine.

My ongoing research/writing employs ethnographic and multimedia approaches to the study of the lived religion—in both established and emergent forms—and takes up both topical and theoretical issues. My current research and writing projects span the areas of Ritual and Ecology; Health, Illness and Religion; and Fieldwork and Representations of Religion.

Selected Publications

This is My Story, This is my Song": A Pentecostal Woman's Life Story and Ritual Performance. University of California Press (Forthcoming).

Lived Religion in the Editing Suite: Pentecostal Ritualizing in Afro-Caribbean Canadian Pentecostalism. (DVD: multi-media research project).

Newest Projects

Down to Earth: Farm Religion and Ritualizing. Subproject of trans-national project called Negotiating Religion and Gender in Tune with the World.

Workshop: "Ritualising in a World at Risk. Politics of Gender, Piety and Authority in Earth Activism North and South."  Project Seed Funding from LEVE, University of Oslo.

Workshop will establish an interdisciplinary, international academic forum to generate and discuss new knowledge on emerging post-traditional forms of ritualizing in which women, youth activists and marginalized people take a lead. Particular focus will be on framed events that may be analyzed as strategic acts of response to social and environmental risk in the global South and North.

Workshop facilitators: Jone Salomonsen (University of Oslo), Ute Huesken (University of Oslo), Donna Seamone (Acadia University, Canada), Graham Harvey (Open University, UK), Sarah Pike (Chico California State University, USA), Morny Joy (Calgary University, Canada).