Michael Baysa

Office Hours

Field of Study
Religion in America


Michael Baysa is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Religion at Princeton University in the Religion in America subfield. A scholar of religion and history, he is interested in the influence of cultural brokers, media management, and other publishing intermediaries on the material curation, production, and distribution of religious and racial discourse. His dissertation titled Unpublishing Religion: How Anglo-Protestant Print Networks Constrained Public Speech in Early America uses methods from book history and studies on print culture to analyze unprinted manuscripts and their authors who aspired, struggled, and failed to be published through the colonial printing press. By comparing the difficulties of print production with the ease of publishing through manuscript circulation and scribal publication, the project reveals the many material and relational layers in printing that opened room for ministers, missionaries, and congregants to shape what would constitute public religion.

Michael’s work has been supported by research fellowships from Library Company of Philadelphia and Historical Society of Pennsylvania. During the 2021-2022 academic year, he was the recipient of the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Fellowship in Early American Religious Studies at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies in Philadelphia. He has presented his research at various conferences, including the annual meetings for the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), American Society of Church History (ASCH), and the American Academy of Religion (AAR), and his commentaries on religion in public life has appeared in outlets like The University of Chicago Divinity School’s Sightings.

Prior to joining Princeton’s Department of Religion, Michael received his S.T.M at Boston University and M.Div. at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He also holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Boston University’s Questrom School of Management and worked as a paralegal in a financial services company for five years before starting his doctoral program. He is currently on the job market.