Postdoctoral Fellow

The Centre employs a Postdoctoral Fellow to contribute to its International Fellows Program. The Fellow's primary task is to help organize a conference and to work toward publishing and disseminating research that emerges from the conference. In addition, the Postdoc works closely with the Centre's staff to organize public lectures, workshops, student discussion forums, and/or similar events that connect and engage interested persons from various arenas in the public sphere.


2024-25 Postdoctoral Fellow: Shelisa Klassen, Ph.D.

Shelisa Klassen is a historian of immigration and settler colonialism in Canada. Her work primarily addresses the way that ideas about nation, identity, and ethnicity were discussed in nineteenth century newspapers in Manitoba. In addition to organizing a conference about religion and settler colonialism in the Canadian prairie, she is working on her manuscript based on her doctoral dissertation, which examines the role of newspapers in establishing and maintaining settler colonialism, through the example of 1870's Manitoba. Newspapers attempted to build community between settlers at the outposts of empire and those in metropolitan centers, and in predominately Indigenous societies like Winnipeg in the 1870's, newspapers focused on addressing settler anxieties about their own sovereignty and connection to empire, while downplaying the violence and dispossession involved in establishing settler sovereignty.

Shelisa received her doctoral degree from the University of Manitoba in 2023 and her work has been published in the Journal of Mennonite Studies and the Prairie History Journal. She has also spoken at a number of community events in Winnipeg and southern Manitoba, engaging various settler communities with the early history of her province. Shelisa looks forward to engaging in dialogue about settler colonialism and religion during her time at the Ronning Centre.



Photo of Sharmin Sadequee.

2020-21 Postdoctoral Fellow: Sharmin Sadequee, Ph.D.

Sharmin is a cultural anthropologist and her research interest is in understanding Islam and Muslims communities in/and modernity and modern states, particularly in American race, religion, social movements, secularism, science and modern law. Her teaching in anthropology and religious studies engages questions of cultural and religious diversities both theoretically and cross-culturally. In addition to organizing the International Fellows conference on Islamophobia and other educational programming, she is working on her first manuscript examining the social and legal life of Islam and Muslims in American secularism, which is an ethnographic study of the ways in which US secular security state governs, manages and regulates Muslims and Islam in and through various legal and social spaces, from courtroom litigations of terrorism prosecutions, securitized prisons, to civil society social movements, and the way Muslims organize, challenge, and address racialized state overreach through social justice and human rights claims and practices. She completed her doctoral from Michigan State University. She looks forward to facilitating conversations at the Ronning Centre about Islam, Muslim communities, and Islamophobia in both Canadian and US contexts.



2021 International Fellows Conference: Islamophobia and/in Post-Secular States

The Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion in Public Life at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus (in Camrose, Alberta) is pleased to announce an upcoming conference, “Islamophobia and/in Post-Secular States: Religion, Race, Science and Law.”

Conference dates: November 12 & 13, 2021

Conference Program