Kristin Helweg Hanson
Adjunct Professor, Ph.D., Emory University
ADM - 255
Kristin Helweg Hanson has a strong interdisciplinary background. Her key credentials for UAA are a Certificate of Women's Studies and a Ph.D. in religion, both from Emory University. Hanson is intrigued by "lived religion" or the study of how religious systems find expression and change within particular lives, times, and places. In her early research, Hanson used feminist ethnography to probe "lived" phenomena such as how Inupiaq cultural understandings potentially transform Protestant practices and theology. Today her interests include: intersecting spiritualities (with Inupiaq culture-Christian interchange remaining a keen interest); women in religion; religion and education; Chinese thought; and constructions of self. As her students quickly learn, Kristin Helweg Hanson longs for widespread “religious fluency”. She believes “religious fluency” entails a working knowledge of multiple religious systems and non-Western philosophies, and she hopes this knowledge in turn engenders commitments to fair and respectful discourse about religion(s). Teaching is one of Hanson’s great passions and her favorite forum is the undergraduate classroom.
The collaborative preparation and upcoming focus on Kongzi are important to departmental goals and UAA visions. The Kongzi seminar clearly builds the new Religious Studies track within the Philosophy degree program. The seminar will provide helpful orientation for topics such as “Confucian Role Ethics” (Roger Ames, Spring 2014) sponsored by the new Ethics Consortium. Contact with the visiting Intern will also promote student interest in pursuing graduate programs in Chinese philosophy, including English-speaking programs being offered in China.
While the exploration of Chinese philosophy grows, another project ‘closer to home’ has completed a chapter. In 2011, Dr. Hanson and Sheila (Tusaagvik) Seetomona Randazzo, Transition Advisor of Native Student Services at UAA, explored the possible spiritual dimensions of Alaska Native Games. In a rather strange turn of events, an international conference was cancelled and registered conferees were asked to submit a YouTube video and journal paper instead. Hanson and Randazzo posted the YouTube presentation thanks to substantial help from media-savvy UAA students and Alaska Native athletes. (Presentation can be found using search phrase “Urban Youth and Native Games”; the specific clip is entitled: “Survival Then, Survival Now”.) The full article, “Survival Then, Survival Now”, is forthcoming in the International Journal of Sport and Society. (The attached picture captures the celebratory smiles of the authors.)
Helweg-Hanson, K. "Not the Words: Hymnody, Enacted Theology, and the Lutheran Inupiat" Dialog: A Journal of Theology. Vol. 48.:4 (Winter 2009) 348-357.
Kristin Helweg Hanson (2006). "Looking In, Looking Out: A Christian Historical Perspective" in Rukhsana Zia (ed), Globalization, Modernization and Education in Muslim Countries. In Bryan T. Peck (series editor) Education: Emerging Goals in the New Millennium, New York Nova Science Publishers, Inc.: 85-97
On Wednesday, Oct 13, Philosophy & Religion professor Kristin Helweg Hanson joined Dr. Greg Kimura (Alaska Humanities Forum president) and Teeka B on Hometown-Alaska. Professor Hanson primarily addressed Sheldon Jackson's historical role in the Protestant presence within our state. To listen to the program, please click on "Download Audio".
"Colliding Identities", Interdisciplinary Conference, Sponsored by Society for Indian Philosophy & Religion and University of Alaska, Anchorage, June 2008.
Co-Coordinator of "Immortality, Physicalism, and Death of God" Interdisciplinary Conference, Sponsored by Society of Indian Philosophy & Religion and University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska, June 13-14, 2008.