Emma Thompson


Emma Thompson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Islam subfield of the Department of Religion at Princeton University. They are also pursuing a graduate certificate from the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Their work focuses on Islam in South Asia along with Islam, Gender, and Sexuality. Their dissertation, Indian Secularism and the Muslim Other: Attitudes towards Religion in Indian Queer Activism, draws on anthropological fieldwork and social media archives to examine how queer activists in Northern India navigate religion and secularism. Drawing on the idea of the “languages of secularism” the project moves away from a state-focused approach to secularism, instead asking how the tropes and discourses surrounding secularism figure in the work of queer activists, especially situated within the context of rising Hindu nationalism.

In addition to the dissertation project, Emma’s teaching and research interests include secularism studies, queer and trans studies in religion, and religious nationalisms.

Emma has presented their work at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the UCR Conference on Queer and Transgender Studies in Religion. Their work has been funded by the AAR, Fulbright, the Social Science Research Council, and Princeton’s Center for Culture, Society, and Religion.