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Get to Know…

Chris Lee, PhD, associate professor of religious studies and theology

Although he teaches in the Department of Religious Studies and Theology, Chris Lee, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist by training. He examines the impacts of globalization on two different South Asian communities: working class weavers in the Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi, India and white-collar expatriates from India and Pakistan who work in the Arabian Gulf.

“I primarily work with poets in both of these communities because they are sophisticated in articulating the realities of their situations but also because, since 1994, I have studied and performed Urdu poetry myself,” says Chris.

Chris also serves as director of the college’s Graduate Scholarship Office. In this role, he assists Canisius students in the application process for Fulbright Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and Boren Scholarships.

In the classroom, Chris teaches courses in Asian religions, Islam, Hindu and the Anthropology of Religion.  His popular “Magic, Science and Religion” course features a unit on zombies.

“While zombies may seem like a frivolous thing to study in a college class, they are a great way to show how useful anthropology can be,” says Chris. “Given that zombies don’t exist, why are they so popular now? What do they mean? We discuss these and many other questions in the context of movies and literature.”

The Contemporary Writers Series and the Institute for Global Study of Religion lectures are among Chris’ favorite on-campus events.  He enjoys fly-fishing, reading cookbooks and cooking (which he incorporates into many of his courses).

Did you know…? Chris plays blues harmonica and coached the women’s rugby team at Canisius.

Submitted by: College Communications