RAAC Indiana University Indianapolis > About > The Center for the Study of Religion & American Culture > Our Staff > Melissa Borja

Melissa Borja

Melissa Borja is Assistant Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan, where she is a core faculty member in the Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Program. She researches migration, religion, politics, pluralism, and race in the United States and the Pacific World, with special attention to how religious beliefs and practices have developed in the context of the modern American state. Her book, Follow the New Way: Hmong Refugee Resettlement and the Practice of American Religious Pluralism (under contract, Harvard University Press) explores the religious dimensions of American refugee care. An avid public scholar, Dr. Borja is a senior advisor to Princeton University’s Religion and Forced Migration Initiative , a national program that aims to improve understanding of the role that religion plays in the lives of refugees as they resettle in the United States. She is an affiliated researcher with the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center, which unites scholars and community organizations to analyze and prevent hate incidents targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She is part of a national research team that received support from the Louisville Institute to study Filipino American theology and religious life during the Covid-19 pandemic. Finally, she contributes regularly to the religious history blog, Anxious Bench. Dr. Borja was named a 2020-20201 Faculty Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University and a 2018-2019 Young Scholar in American Religion. She earned a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and an A.B. from Harvard University.

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