Alyssa Maldonado-Estrada is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Religion in the Americas subfield. She specializes in ethnographic methods, the study of contemporary lived religious practice, and American religious history. Her research explores embodiment, gender and material culture and how people in contemporary urban communities enact and perform their ethnic and religious identities. Alyssa received a B.A. in Sociology and Religion from Vassar College and an M.A. in Religion from Princeton University.
Her dissertation, “Lifeblood of the Parish: Men and Catholic Practice in Williamsburg, Brooklyn,” is an ethnographic study of a Catholic parish and its devotional celebrations. She explores how contemporary Catholics enact their religious identity in public space and how they negotiate their urban environment, issues of gentrification and shifting racial and ethnic landscapes. Through reflexive ethnographic methods and material culture analysis, she examines the religious practices of Catholic men and how they construct and perform ideals of manhood and masculinity through devotional ritual.
Alyssa has held a fellowship in Religion and Public Life at Princeton’s Center for the Study of Religion since 2014. She has coordinated Princeton’s Interdisciplinary Ethnography Workshop, and serves on the steering committee of the Men and Masculinities Group of the American Academy of Religion.