I am an assistant professor in the Department of Classics and Religion at the University of Calgary, where I teach courses on ritual and religious experience. Before coming to the University of Calgary, I taught courses on early modern literature in the French Department at Simon Fraser University.
Two passions animate my scholarship: a love for the French language and a desire to understand the role that performance (make-believe, staging, spectacle, rehearsal, and self-presentation) plays in religion and politics. These interests come together in my research on the early modern Church’s response to France’s 17th- and early-18th century theater and drama. I look at how the Catholic Church sought to renew its authority by differentiating priests from actors, masses from plays, and the Church from the state.
My work combines archival research methods with the literary sensibilities of French studies and conceptual tools drawn from performance theory to offer an anthropological history of priestcraft in early modern France. More generally, my research interests concern the religious practice, culture, and literature of the French Counter-Reformation, as well as French theater history and drama under the Ancien Régime.
I hold a B.A. in the Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington (2001) and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley (2012).
Joy Palacios, Ph.D.
Religious Studies ~ Performance Studies ~ French Studies