Dr. Kathleen M Self
Kathleen M. Self is an historian of religions whose work focuses on conversion and self-transformation. She has published articles on conversion in medieval Iceland and contemporary Neopaganism, and on the gender of the valkyrie in Old Norse mythology for the journals Religion, Feminist Formations, and History of Religions. A forthcoming book chapter examines the genders of the gods and goddesses in Snorri Sturluson’s Edda and scholars’ and Odinist Neopagans’ alterations to the goddess Frigg’s gender. Her current research is an analysis of the relationship between religious discourse and weight stigma, “food talk,” and identity. Focusing on Christian ideas of sin and individual agency and broader notions of impurity, the project points to the enduring influence of Protestant Christianity on ideas of selfhood, morality, and the substance of food itself, and to the fundamental importance of weight as an aspect of identity, especially for women. Prof. Self received her B.A. from the University of Montana, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School. She teaches classes on this history of Christianity, Old Norse mythology, and theories and methods in the study of religion.