Professor of Religious Studies
Elizabeth Agnew received her PhD in Religious Studies from Indiana University in 1999. She earned a BA in History from Brown University and MA degrees in Religious Studies and History from Indiana University. Her teaching and research focus on religious diversity and identity in American culture, religious ethics, theories and practices of war and nonviolence, and gender studies.
Professor Agnew’s book, From Charity to Social Work: Mary E. Richmond and the Creation of an American Profession (University of Illinois Press, 2004), was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2005. She has published articles on Richmond, on the American social philosopher and peace activist Jane Addams, and on religious studies pedagogy in Soundings, Peace & Change, Teaching Theology & Religion, and Pakistan Journal of American Studies. The immersive learning oral history and documentary film project, “Muslims in Muncie,” which she directed as a Virginia B. Ball Fellow in 2018, received the Oral History Association’s Non-Print Format Award (2019) and the Midwestern History Association’s Alice Smith Prize in Public History (2020). The project’s transformative work is the subject of her essay, “On (Not) ‘Humanizing’ Muslims: Challenge and Opportunity in an Oral History Project with American Muslims,” in the Oral History Review, Vol. 49, Issue 2 (2022).
From 2012-2015, Professor Agnew joined with a team of Ball State faculty in a U.S. State Department-funded partnership with Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan to advance its American Studies graduate program. The team renewed this collaboration in 2021-22, to facilitate the development and implementation of American Studies programs in ten women’s universities throughout Pakistan.
Professor Agnew has been supported in her work by two NEH summer seminars addressing religious diversity in the U.S. (Boston College, 2007) and in India (New Delhi, 2013), and by funding from the American Association of University Women, the Free University of Berlin, the Catholic University of Portugal, and the Dar al Islam Institute. In Spring 2017 she received the Robert O. Foster Award from Ball State University’s Multicultural Center, in recognition of her dedication and service to students in support of the Center’s mission.