2021 Short-Term Research Grant Recipients

07.16.2021 | The Maxwell Institute

We are pleased to have three short-term research grant recipients join the Maxwell Institute this summer. Learn more about their backgrounds and research below.

Rebekah Perkins Crawford has a Ph.D. in Health Communication and is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Social and Public Health at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Her research centers on health messaging in community contexts with a specific emphasis on how religious communities and faith-based organizations communicate about holistic health. Her projects focus on mental illness, vaccine hesitancy, gender and sexual minorities, and sexual violence within religious communities.

This summer at the Maxwell Institute, Dr. Crawford will be writing about the role Bishops of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints play in addressing mental illness stigma within their congregations. Bishops often use biomedical rhetoric to explain the realities of mental illness, and Dr. Crawford’s article explores the benefits and blindspots of what she has termed “The Broken Bone Motif.”

Kristin Lowe is a summer scholar from Atlanta, Georgia, where she works as a freelance writer for Cox Media and AJC.com. She received her B.A. in English from BYU. and an M.F.A. in Narrative Nonfiction from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism. You can find her long-form journalism pieces at Religion News Source with Jana Reiss and the Exponent II magazine and blog. When she is not writing southern travel stories for AJC.com, she dedicates her time to researching and writing about Minerva Teichert, an LDS woman and artist. She has been collecting primary sources, including oral histories gathered from family members who knew Minerva and her work best, since 2019.

 She will devote her time to further research and oral history collection on Minerva Teichert and the western landscape and people she loved at the Institute. 

Shane Strate is an Associate Professor of History at Kent State University in Ohio. He completed his B.A. and M.A. in History at BYU, then received a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At Kent State, he teaches courses on Southeast Asia, the Vietnam War, and Marxist Revolution. His research includes topics such as nationalism, post-colonialism, state violence, and history of memory. Shane’s first book, “The Lost Territories: Thailand’s History of National Humiliation,” was published by the University of Hawaii Press in 2016. It explores how the Thai state constructed historical narratives of victimization, known as National Humiliation discourse, then deployed these narratives to support ethnic chauvinism and irredentist expansion. 

While in residence at the Maxwell Institute, Shane is working on a social history of Latter-Day Saint missionary work in Thailand and South Vietnam during the Vietnam War era. The project seeks to understand religious conversion within the context of the patronage networks that define Southeast Asian society. It argues that the Vietnam War was critical to the formation of social bonds between missionary and convert. First, by disrupting long-standing community patterns and challenging traditional symbols of authority, the war created entry points for foreign ideas, including Mormonism. Also, the deployment of thousands of LDS servicemen, diplomats, businessmen, and contract workers to Southeast Asia creates alternate networks of patronage through which conversion was facilitated.