Curran Center Faculty News

Angela Alaimo O'Donnell, Associate Director of the Curran Center, completed a book-length study, Radical Ambivalence: Race in Flannery O'Connor, which will be published by Fordham University Press in Spring 2020. Her collection of poems channeling the voice of Flannery O’Connor, Andalusian Hours, will be published by Paraclete Press in 2020. O’Donnell also published poems in Alabama Literary ReviewAmericaChristian CenturyFlannery O'Connor ReviewThe Other Journal, and Peacock Journal; her poem "Mercy by the Sea" won the New York Encounter Poetry Prize, and her poem "Flannery & Poetry" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her articles "The Epistles of Flannery O’Connor," “The Catholic Art of Frida Kahlo,” and "Five Quintets: An Epic for Our Era" appeared in America magazine, and her essay "Louise Erdrich: Poetry, Fiction, & the Art of Mythmaking" was published in Mezzo Cammin. O'Donnell was artist in residence at John Brown University’s Giving Voice Festival last fall and gave a number of lectures and readings. She received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Misericordia University on May 11, 2019, delivering a poem she wrote for the Class of 2019 at the graduate commencement exercises.  O’Donnell was awarded a summer writing residency at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical & Cultural Research at St. John’s University, Minnesota.

John C. Seitz, Associate Professor of Theology and Associate Director for Lincoln Center, has been busy with his work as a Research Fellow for two national projects exploring the history of clergy sexual abuse. The first, based at the University of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, was entitled “Gender, Sex, and Power: Towards a History of Sex Abuse in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church.” The second, sponsored by the Curran Center and Fordham’s Department of Theology, was called “Taking Responsibility: Jesuit Educational Institutions Confront the Causes and Legacy of Clergy Sexual Abuse.” One result of Seitz’s contribution to these projects was an article entitled “Secrecy, Sex Abuse, and The Practice of Priesthood” for the Routledge Handbook of Religion and Secrecy. In the Spring of 2022, Seitz was an invited fellow for a national conference entitled “Building Catholic Studies Where We Are: A Gathering to Imagine a Field” at the University of New Mexico. He continues to conduct research on a book project about priesthood in the United States. Prof. Seitz has also been working as co-chair of the Catholic Studies Unit of the American Academy of Religion; the 2022 annual meeting program can be found here. Dr. Seitz also currently serves the academy as a judge for the American Historical Association’s annual John Gilmary Shea Prize. Seitz recently celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the Catholic Practice in North America book series, sponsored by the Curran Center and published at Fordham University Press. As part of the ten-year anniversary, Seitz and his new co-editor, Jessica Delgado, gave the series a new name and a wider, hemispheric reach as the Catholic Practice in the Americas series. Across its lifespan, the series has published twenty-one volumes, with more exciting books on the way. 

Michael Peppard, Associate Professor of Theology and Associate Director for Prestigious Fellowships, taught courses in the history of early Christianity and ancient Greek, while also leading over 40 new concentrators (!) through the Discernment Seminar. He published scholarly articles in New Testament Christology and early Christian art, and a study of contemporary debates in northern Europe about the legality of religiously-based circumcision. His forthcoming essay about early Christian initiation rituals, “The Photisterion in Late Antiquity: Reconsidering Terminology for Sites and Rites of Initiation,” received the 2018 Eusebius Prize by the Journal of Ecclesiastical History (UK). He wrote a cover story for Commonweal, “Household Names: Junia, Phoebe, and Prisca in Early Christian Rome,” which demonstrated how old-fashioned exegetical methods can be wedded with research questions and sensibilities drawn from feminist criticism to shed light on some lesser-known early Christian leaders. He presented research on artistic depictions of the female figures of the Passion narrative as part of a two-week traveling seminar in Italy, the Colloquium on Material Culture and Religion, supplementing it with long hours of research in the Pio Cristiano and Pinacoteca of the Vatican Museums, the Terme museum, and the Epigraphical collection of the museum of Naples. In March 2019, he traveled to Israel for a research colloquium about the reception history of the women of the Bible in Jewish and Christian traditions.