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M. Gail Hamner

M. Gail Hamner


512 Hall of Languages

Research and Teaching Interests

Professor Hamner specializes in religion and culture and teaches at the intersections of continental philosophy, feminist and gender theories, and media/film theory.  She is the author of American Pragmatism: A Religious Genealogy (Oxford: 2002) and Religion and Film:  The Politics of Nostalgia (Palgrave: 2012) and is currently working on a manuscript that rethinks the public sphere and the place of religion within the public sphere in light of our intensely hyperlinked and socially mediated world.

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REL 246 Religion and Popular Culture
REL 291 Comparative Themes and Issues
REL 326 Religion and Film
REL 353 Religion and Nature
REL 358 Critical Issues in Religious Thought
REL 391 Advanced Religion Seminar
REL 500 Confessions
REL 644 Feminist Theology
REL 661 Self, Body, Transcendence
REL 662 Marx and Foucault
REL 663 Religion and Revolution


  • Ph.D., Religion, Duke University, Durham, NC, 1997
  • M.T.S., Philosophical Theology, valedictorian, Boston University School of Theology, Boston, MA, 1989
  • B.S., Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC, 1985


  • 2013 Full Professor, Department of Religion, Syracuse University
  • 2008 Associated faculty for the Women and Gender Studies Program, Syracuse University.
  • 2005-present Associate Professor, Department of Religion, Syrause University.
  • 1998-2005 Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, Syracuse University.
  • 1997-1998 Lecturer, Duke University, Religion Department.


Theology and the Films of Terrence Malick

"Remember Who You Are": Imaging Life’s Purpose in Knight of Cups, in Theology and the Films of Terrence Malick. Routledge, 2016.

Coen Brothers

Two chapters in Elijah Siegler, editor, The Coen Brothers’ Religion: Mythology,
Morality and the American Landscape, Baylor University Press, 2015.

Imaging Religion in Film

Imaging Religion in Film: The Politics of Nostalgia, in “New Theories of Religion and Power.” Palgrave, 2012.

Evangelicals Evangelicals and Empire: Christian Alternatives to the Political Status Quo
BrazosPress, 2008.
Pragmatism American Pragmatism: A Religious Genealogy
Oxford University Press, 2003.

Other Publications/Submissions

  • "Sensing Religion in Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men," in Religions, December 2015.
  • Filming Reconciliation: Affect and Nostalgia in The Tree of Life,” in The Journal of Religion and Film, spring 2014.
  • “Work and Life in the Balance,” short ‘round-table’ contribution to Religious Studies News, spring 2015.
  • “Acting in Common: How the Flesh of Multitude can become Incarnate Words against Empire”, in Evangelicals and Empire: Christian Alternatives to the Political Status Quo, ed. B.E. Benson and P. Heltzel (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2008), pp. 43-53.
  • “What is an Act?: Reflexive Action in Pragmatism and Praxis Philosophy,” PoLAR: The Political and Legal Anthropology Review, November, 2003.
  • “The Work of Love”, in Opting for the Margins: Postmodernity and Liberation in Christian Theology, ed. Joerg Rieger, Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • "Cultural Saints", in Luis León and Gary Laderman, eds., Religion and American Culture (Santa Barbara : ABC-CLIO, 2014).

Papers and Presentations

  • April 3, "Anger Disguised and Complex", Theta Chi Beta (Religion Honor Society) Annual Meeting, LeMoyne College, DeWitt.
  • September 21-24, “Singularity is Collectivity, Or: How the Labor of the Multitude is the Work of Love,” Marxism 2000, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
  • June 24, “The Work of Love in Luce Irigaray: Feminist Politics and the Strategy of Love,” Gendering Ethics/The Ethics of Gender Conference, University of Leeds, UK.
  • June 23, Invited respondent to the session, “Images of the Self: Contemporary Sci-Fi TV/Cinema and the Deployment of Subjectivity,” The Third Annual Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference, Birmingham University, UK.
  • April 7, “Apocalyptic Fear and Scientific Commonsense: A Ghost (Spirit) in the Machine,” AAR-EIR 2000, Syracuse University.
  • February 19, Respondent to the session, “Why Religious Studies?” Religious Studies and Cultural Engagement: First Annual Alumni and Graduate Student Conference, Syracuse University.
  • November 22, “That Pesky ‘And': Studying Religion and Popular Culture”, American Academy of Religion, Boston, MA.
  • February 25, “The Work of Love in Luce Irigaray,” The Working Papers in Gender Studies Lecture Series, Syracuse University.
  • October, “The Work of Love in Donna Haraway and Kaja Silverman,” given as the new faculty lecture, Department of Religion, Syracuse University.
  • November, “The Sign of God in the Burning Bush: Peircean Pragmatism and Continental Postmodernism,” American Academy of Religion, Philadelphia, PA.
  • November, respondent to the Critical Theory and Discourses on Religion Group, American Academy of Religion, Chicago, IL.
  • February 18-19, respondent to Hayden White, guest speaker of the Graduate Program in Religion, Duke University.
  • April 29-30, respondent to Katie G. Cannon, guest speaker of the Graduate Program in Religion, Duke University.
  • March, “An Alternate Vision of Feminist Politics: Love and Aesthetics in Donna Haraway,” Pragmatism and the Politics of Culture: The Eighth Annual Comparative Literature Symposium , University of Tulsa.
  • March, “The Twos and Threes of Pragmatics: Deleuzian Dualities, Peircean Triads, and the Politics of the Inbetween.”
  • The Second Interdisciplinary Colloquium: The Work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Duke University.