Educational Background

  • Ph. D.  University of California, San Diego

Teaching Interests

  • Identity and the Self in Neuroscientific, Social, and Cultural Relief
  • Sociobiology and Evolutionary Theory in the Social Sciences
  • History and Sociology of Knowledge, Ideas, and Intellectuals
  • Religion and Civil Religion
  • Social and Cultural Theory
  • Anthropology and Sociology of the Arts
  • Thanatology

Recent Awards

  • Fulbright Scholar Award, Council for International Exchange of Scholars and the Franco-American Commission (August 2013-March 2014)
  • UC President's Dissertation Year Fellowship, Office of President, University of California (June 1998-July 1999)
  • Chateaubriand Research Fellowship in Social Sciences, French Embassy to the United States, Mission Scientifique et Technologique (October 1996-June 1997) 

Selected Publications


Angel Patriots in the Sky: The Crash of United Flight 93 and the Myth of America, New York, NY: New York University Press, 2015

The Social Thought of Émile Durkheim, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2014

Durkheim, the Durkheimians and Art, ed. with William Watts Miller and W. S. F. Pickering, New York and London: Berghahn Books, 2013

Godless Intellectuals?:  The Intellectual Pursuit of the Sacred Reinvented, New York: Berghahn Books, 2010 

Impure Play:  Sacredness, Transgression, and the Tragic in Popular Culture, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010

Saints, Heroes, Myths, and Rites:  Classical Durkheimian Studies of Religion and Society, ed. with Sarah Daynes and Cyril Isnart, Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2009

Cultural Theory:  An Introduction, 2nd edition, with Philip Smith, London: Blackwell, 2008

Un ethnologue à la guerre. Lettres de Robert Hertz à sa femme Alice (août 1914-avril 1915), ed. with Philippe Besnard, Paris: Éditions CNRS,  2002


Places I've Been

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