CURA’s Visiting Scholars

Gina A. Zurlo

Gina Zurlo received her Ph.D. from Boston University in 2017. She is Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Research Fellow at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs. Her research focuses on international religious demography and the history of American sociology, including the application of quantitative methods to religious adherence. She is co-editor of the World Christian Database (Brill) and associate editor of the World Religion Database (Brill).

Matteo Bortolini

Matteo Bortolini is associate professor of sociology at the Department of Historical and Geographical Sciences and the Ancient World at the University of Padova (Italy). An historical sociologist of ideas and intellectuals, he is currently committed to writing a full biography of the late American anthropologist, Clifford Geertz (1926-2006), with a special focus on Geertz’s ethnographies in Bali, Java, and Morocco. His first article from this project is ‘A twenty-four hour job’. Hildred and CliffordGeertz’s first foray into the field and the scholarly persona of the ethnographer.’


Michael Jindra

Michael Jindra is a cultural anthropologist who focuses broadly on how culture influences social activity and outcomes. His research program currently centers on the relationship and tension between cultural diversity and economic inequality (internationally and in the US) and includes conducting local research on how nonprofit organizations help the poor.

Saleena Saleem

Saleena Saleem is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Liverpool (UK). Her research interests are on decolonial feminism, politics of race and religion, and gender in South-east Asia. Her current research examines social learning and intersections of feminist understandings between secular and religious women’s advocacy groups in Malaysia. She is also presently co-editing a book on sectarianization, political polarization and social group divisions in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. This book is an expansion of ideas from a special issue that she co-edited on “Sectarianisation in Southeast Asia and Beyond” that was published in the Religion, State and Society in June 2021. Saleena holds a Master of Science in Political Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University. She has held research positions at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, and at the Centre for Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.