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 Contact InformationHelpHelp  
Bobby C Alexander
Associate Professor-Economic Political and Policy
Office MailstopMail Box: GR31, Room No.: GR2532 
Email Address    Primary Phone Number 972-883-6898    Media Contact
Administrative Assistant:  Help  
Trang, Vy T
 Professional Preparation
 Ph.D.Religious Studies/Social-Scientific Study of ReligionColumbia University, and Union Theological Seminary1985
 Ph.D.Systematic TheologyUnion Theological Seminary, New York, New York1985
 M.Phil.Religious StudiesColumbia University, New York1981
 M.Div.Systematic TheologyUnion Theological Seminary, New York1976
 B.A.Religion and English LiteratureBaylor University1973
Collapse Section Expand Section Research and Expertise
Research Interests

Dr. Alexander's research treats religion and social change.  Informed by theories of religion and ritual as agents of change found in sociology, anthropology, Religious Studies, and Ritual Studies, his research examines social change within the overlap of religion and other social forces.  A special focus has been ways in which minority and marginal social groups have engaged their religious institutions, ideologies/theologies, and ritual within the context of broader patterns of social conflict and change.  Alexander currently is working on a book monograph and related journal articles on the contribution of religion and Mexican immigrant women’s leadership in their churches to assimilation of these women and their families into U.S. society and various social institutions.  He is working on a co-authored journal article on performance of credibility in pursuit of political asylum, a concept emerging in the legal literature. 

Collapse Section Expand Section Publications
  YearPublication  Type
Barriers Faced by Hispanic Students Transferring from Community Colleges to University: An Ethnographic Approach, edited by Bobby C. Alexander and Victor Garcia.  Lewis, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press.
Category: Co-Authored/Co-Edited Book
"Rites of Passage."  Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago, Illinois.
Category: Entry in Encyclopedia
"Liminal/Liminality." Vocabulary for the Study of Religion, edited by Kocku von Stuckrad and Robert Segal.  Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.
Category: Book Chapter
Book chapters
"Public Art in the Ritual Construction of Human Community." Holy Hiatus: Art as Ritual and Community, edited by Ruth Jones. London: Parthian Books.
Category: Book Chapter
Book chapters
Collapse Section Expand Section Presentations and Projects
Start DateEnd DatePresentation/Project
2010  Bobby C. Alexander

“Ritual Liminality as ‘Holy Play.’”  Symposium: “Holy Hiatus: Performing Ritual, Community, and Space,” Cardigan, Wales, September 25, 2010, organized by the University of West England.

Collapse Section Expand Section Affiliations
American Academy of Religion
Collapse Section Expand Section Appointments
DurationRankDepartment / SchoolCollege / OfficeUniversity / Company
09/1985-05/1986Adjunct Assistant Professor of Religious StudiesProgram in Religion, Department of PhilosophyHunter College of The City University of New York 
09/1981-05/1985Adjunct Lecturer in Religious StudiesProgram in Religion, Department of PhilosophyHunter College of The City University of New York 
08/2002-presentAssociate Professor of SociologyEPPS UTD
08/1999-05/2002College Master and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate StudiesSchool of Social Sciences (renamed EPPS) UTD
08/1986-05/1993Assistant Professor of Religious StudiesDepartment of Religious StudiesDedman CollegeSouthern Methodist University
 Synergistic Activities
Member: Friends of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music (Yale ISM)

Members of this body advise the Director of the Yale University ISM (2007-present).

Professional Memberships
  • American Academy of Religion, 1986-present
  • Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1986-2000

University Activities and Commitees


  • Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (Institutional Review Board)
  • Faculty Advisor, UTD Intercultural Women’s Society
  • Faculty Advisor, UTD Baha’i Club

2007-2009The Asylum Research ProjectThe Overbrook Foundation$35,000Previous
1999-2004An Ethnographic/Social Science/Community-Based Model to Recruit and Retain HispanicsU.S. Department of Education (FIPSE)$600,000Previous
       Teaching HelpHelp  
 Additional Information
Awards and Fellowships
• Coolidge Fellow
CrossCurrents: The Association for Religion and Intellectual Life
Research Colloquium, with cooperation from Columbia University and Union 
Theological Seminary, New York, New York, July 5-28, 2006
• Resident
The Rockefeller Foundation
Residency, The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study and Conference Center 
Bellagio, Italy, July 15-August 13, 2004

Personal Statement

Bobby C. Alexander, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology in the Sociology Program, Department of Public Affairs and Policy Studies, School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences (EPPS) at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in Religious Studies in 1985; he was awarded a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology by Union Theological Seminary in New York in the same year. 

Alexander teaches courses in religion in society, religion in international development, immigrants and immigration in U.S. society, immigration policy, and race and ethnicity, among others.  He is a two-time recipient of the Student Choice Teaching Award presented by students in the formerly named School of Social Sciences at UTD, and has received an Outstanding EPPS Faculty Comet Award, which is based on student nominations, and a Distinguished Teacher in Diversity and Multicultural Education Award, which is presented by UTD’s Office of Diversity and Community Engagement. 

Alexander has been a member of the Sociology Program Committee in EPPS and the Committee on Teaching Effectiveness, and has served on university-wide committees: University Institutional Review Board (IRB) (current); the Committee on Education Policy (CEP), which he served as Chair; the Committee on Core Curriculum (CCC); Committee on Student Scholarships, which he served as Vice Chair; and the Advisory Committee of the Office of International Education.  As former Assistant Dean and College Master in the School of Social Sciences, he served on the Council of Masters, an administrative body comprised of Assistant and Associate Deans of Undergraduate Studies in their respective schools.  I served as Faculty Advisor in UTD’s Office of Undergraduate Education under the Dean of Undergraduate Education.  Long-time Faculty Advisor to the UTD Baha’i Club, I am advisor to the UTD Intercultural Women’s Society, and was co-advisor to the UTD Sociology Club. 

Professional Organizations
  • American Academy of Religion, 1986-present
Ritual Studies Group, Steering Committee, 1987-1990
  • Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1986-2000

Teaching Awards and Nominations
  • Outstanding EPPS Faculty Comet Award, presented by the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences, UTD, Spring 20112 6
    • This award is based on student nominations.
  • Distinguished Teacher in Diversity and Multicultural Education Award, presented by
    • UTD Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, Spring 2011
  • Student Choice Teaching Award, presented by the students in the School of Social Sciences, UTD, Fall 1996, and Spring 2001
    • The award is given by students.
  • Nominee, Chancellor‟s Council Outstanding Teaching Award, UTD, 1996, and 1997
  • Nominee, Margareta Deschner Teacher Award, nominated by female students andawarded by the Women‟s Center, Southern Methodist University, 1988-1989, 1989-1990, and 1990-1991

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