Bio

My name is Karina Bénazech Wendling. I hold a PhD candidate in History and Anthropology of Religions.

I have prepared my PhD at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE-PSL) and the Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités (GSRL) – CNRS under the joint supervision of Patrick Cabanel, Directeur d’Études, EPHE-PSL and Prof. Peter Gray, Queen’s University Belfast.

After 4 years as Assistant Lecturer and Researcher (ATER) in English Departments (Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis and Université de Strasbourg), I am now also an Assistant lecturer at Sorbonne Université and at Sciences Po Strasbourg (Master).

I first studied British civilisation and literature at the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour and Sorbonne-Nouvelle University (Bachelor). In parallel, I followed courses of Protestant theology for one year at the Faculté de Théologie Evangélique.

I started to teach English in high schools for five years (CAPES), and then at the Technological University of Colmar – IUT, Université de Haute-Alsace – for two years. In 2017, I obtained the Agrégation in British civilisation (on the Great Irish Famine and the Glorious Revolution).

After having studied the Famine for the Agrégation, I decided to research the role of Protestant missions in the development of education in Irish during the Famine. Therefore, in addition to the preparation of the Agrégation, I completed a Master’s thesis (2016-2017) on the Dingle Mission in the press (Souperism in Munster: the Dingle Mission controversy in the local press, 1845-51) at the University of Strasbourg.

My aim is to contribute to a better understanding of the emergence of Souperism, a social phenomenon associated with the bribing of conversions among the Irish-speaking population. I investigate the reception of Irish schools developed by the Society for Promoting the Education of the Native Irish through the medium of their own Language in a context of rising Catholic nationalism.

For my PhD, I was awarded several grants and scholarships, such as the AMID doctoral fellowship from the Région Ile-de-France, a Past and Present grant from the Royal Historical Society, and a grant from the SOFEIR (Société Française d’Études Irlandaises) and a Maddock research Fellowship of the Marsh’s Library.

While my research focuses on religious conversion and national identity, I am also interested more broadly by the interactions between religion and politics.

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