Abhishek Amar.

Abhishek Amar and Quincy Newell, both of the Religious Studies Department, were approved for tenure by Hamilton’s Board of Trustees during the March meeting. Both appointments are effective immediately.

The granting of tenure is based on recommendations of the vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, and the committee on appointments, with the college president presenting final recommendations to the board of trustees. With the granting of tenure comes the title of associate professor.

Abhishek S. Amar specializes in the archaeological history of South Asian religions. He is working on a monograph that examines the issues of expansion, sustenance and religious transformation of Buddhism at the site of Buddha’s enlightenment.

He directs a digital research project, Sacred Centers in India, which examines material, culture and texts to unravel the histories of the Hindu and Buddhist cities of Gaya and Bodhgaya, respectively. 

In 2017 Amar published a book titled Archaeological Gazetteer of Gaya District which he co-authored with Dr. B. K Choudhary. (pub. K.P. Jayaswal Research Institute, Ministry of Education, Govt. of Bihar, India).

The book attempts to reconstruct the early historic and medieval history of the Gaya district, which is home to the Buddhist and Hindu sacred sites of Bodhgaya and Gaya respectively. It presents a database of archaeological, epigraphic, and art-historical remains that were documented by Amar and other surveyors of the K.P. Jayaswal Research Institute in the district over last 12 years. The book reports hundreds of new sites, mounds, sculptures, shrines, and temples. In total, data from 417 villages/sites were surveyed and documented.

Amar received his doctorate in history from SOAS, University of London, and then got a fellowship from Kate Hamburger Kolleg at Ruhr University, Germany.

Quincy D. Newell, a native Oregonian, studies American religious history, focusing on the construction of racial, gender, and religious identities in the nineteenth-century American West. Her first book examined the ways Native Americans around the San Francisco Bay adapted, adopted, and rejected Catholicism during the Spanish colonial period. More recently, Newell spends her time thinking and writing about 19th-century African American and Native American Mormons. Before coming to Hamilton in 2015, she taught at the University of Wyoming for 11 years.                                                                    

Quincy Newell
Quincy Newell. Photo: Nancy L. Ford

In 2017 Newell was awarded a $40,000 Sabbatical Grant for Researchers by the Louisville Institute. The grant will support her book project titled Marginal Mormons: African Americans and Native Americans in the Nineteenth-Century Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Marginal Mormons will explore “the intersection of 19th-century racial and religious identities by examining the experiences of African American and Native American Mormons.”

Newell also received the Mormon History Association’s prize for the Best Article in Mormon Women’s History for her essay “What Jane James Saw.” The article was published in Directions for Mormon Studies in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Patrick Q. Mason and published by the University of Utah Press in 2016.

Newell earned her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and her master’s and doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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