Karen DeVries, Ph.D

Karen deVries is an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersections of queer feminist science studies, religious studies, political theory, and critical race studies. She is particularly interested in storytelling practices that aim to understand and trouble the religious-cultural polarization that shapes and threatens democracy in America. When she is not teaching, Dr. deVries is working on her book manuscript, Prodigal Knowledge: Queer Journeys in Religious and Secular Borderlands.

Prior to teaching at UCCS, deVries spent 4 years teaching at Montana State University for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Political Science, University Studies, and the Honors College. At Montana State, she cultivated stronger forms of freedom-seeking communities by mentoring LGBTQ and feminist folks and by developing an expanded curriculum that included classes titled LGBTQ studies, Diversity Matters, Critical Prison Studies, Politics and Religion in the US, and Feminist Science Studies. MSU honored her service in 2017 with the Betty Coffey Award and in 2018 with a Lavender Leader award.

Dr. deVries earned her Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California in Santa Cruz where she worked under the direction of Donna Haraway and Susan Harding. She earned her MA from the University of Chicago Divinity School where, working primarily with Jonathan Z. Smith and Bruce Lincoln, she developed a lifelong love affair with critical approaches to the study of religion.