Carole Myscofski

Professor of Religion Carole Myscofski

Myscofski Named McFee Professor of Religion

January 20, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University’s Professor of Religion Carole Myscofski has been named the McFee Professor of Religion. Endowed professorships and chairs honor faculty members who have distinguished themselves in terms of teaching, research and service.

Professor Myscofski teaches courses that focus on areas such as myth and ritual, women and religions, the religions of Native Americans, Africans, Latin Americans and cults in America. Her scholarly works have been honored with numerous grants and fellowships, including two from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award.

Myscofski received a bachelor’s degree in the history and philosophy of religion in 1975, a master’s in divinity in 1976, and a doctorate in the history of religions in 1981, all from the University of Chicago. Before coming to IWU in 1991, she taught at Loyola University in Chicago and the University of Missouri at Columbia.

At Illinois Wesleyan, Myscofski became the first director of Illinois Wesleyan’s Women’s Studies Program in 1992, and has served as chair of the Religion Department several times. She was honored in 2001 with the University’s top award for teaching excellence. Myscofski is a senior mentor in the First-Year Faculty Mentoring Program, and has served on such committees as the Post-Tenure Review Task Force, the Faculty Development Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee (1997-1998), and the International Studies Committee.

Myscofski’s research interests include women’s religious lives in colonial Brazil, for which she has traveled to Brazil and El Salvador. Her studies have resulted in publications on messianic movements, marriage and sexuality, women and magic, and women's confessions to the Brazilian Inquisition. Myscofski’s work has appeared in such journals as History of Religions, Religion, Journal of Latin American Lore, Luso-Brazilian Review, Journal of Ritual Studies, and the Journal for Feminist Studies in Religion. She has contributed chapters to books such as the Social History and Issues in Consciousness (New York University Press, 1989), and created scholarly entries for the Dictionary of Religion by HarperCollins, Encyclopedia of Latin American History by Charles Scribner’s Sons, and the Micropedia of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Myscofski has served as an editor for the American Academy of Religion Academy (Dissertation) Series, published by Scholars Press and the Oxford University Press; and for the HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion.

Myscofski has served as president and vice-president of the Midwest Regional American Academy of Religion, and as a member of several committees for the national American Academy of Religion. She is a member of the National Women’s Studies Association, the International Association of the History of Religions, and the Society for the Study of Native American Religious Traditions. She is also a member of the national honors society Phi Kappa Phi.

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960