Dr. Geoffrey Pollick

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Dr. Geoffrey Pollick

Hemphill Hall 4207

Ph.D., Drew University

Geoffrey Pollick studies the history and culture of religion in the United States and North America. He teaches courses that explore broad questions of religion’s meanings and uses, including comparative studies of religious difference; surveys of global Christianity and Islam; the relationship between religious identity and healthcare; and advanced courses that consider American religious history and the relationship between religion and culture.

Dr. Pollick also works closely with students completing the Religious-Cultural Literacy for Healthcare Professions Minor, and with with students in the Philosophy and Religious Studies Major as they pursue internship opportunities with employers and community agencies, and as students seek to conduct research on topics relating to religion, culture, and society through their major capstone experience. Some examples of this work include mentoring a student through an internship at a regional social services agency that resulted in an offer of employment upon graduation; and he is currently working with an undergraduate research assistant, who will co-present with Dr. Pollick this spring, beginning to document linkages between race and religion in the early nineteenth-century New River Valley.

Dr. Pollick's scholarship emphasizes religion’s entanglements with political radicalism in the United States; the role and dimensions of religious liberalism; women’s religious leadership; critical theory and cultural history of religion; religion in popular culture; and religion and healthcare. His current research projects explore the political and social dimensions of women’s ordination during the late nineteenth century; religion and race as intertwined factors in developing the nineteenth-century settlements of Virginia's New River Valley; aesthetic impacts of influences shared between liberal Protestants and secular radicals in the prewar New York Left; and understandings of masculinity and illness among Virginia coal miners who experience Black Lung Disease.

Before coming to Radford University, Dr. Pollick held positions at Sweet Briar College, New York University, Kean University, and Drew University. He holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil. from Drew University, an M.A. from Claremont School of Theology, and a B.A. from the University of Puget Sound. 

Selected Publications and Public Writing

Selected Presentations, Papers, and Media Commentary

  • 2023: with Aysha Bodenhamer, “Masculinity, Religiosity, Vulnerability: Explaining Experiences of Black Lung Disease in Central Appalachia,” March 16–19, paper accepted for presentation at Appalachian Studies Association, Athens, OH.
  • 2022: “Apparent Invisibility: Religio-Racial Place-Making, History, and Memory in Virginia’s New River Valley, from the Nineteenth Century to the Present,” November 4, Public Spaces, Private Places: Constructing Race and Liberation, Biennial Interdisciplinary Conference on Race, Monmouth University, NJ.
  • 2022: "Understanding Arnheim: Religio-Racial Place-Making in the New River Valley of Virginia, 1838–1887," October 22, Mountains, Rivers, and Roads: Understanding Appalachia Symposium, Honors College, Radford University, VA.
  • 2020: “Ordination as Emancipation: Voting Rights Activism and Women’s Religious Professions in the Early Twentieth-Century United States,” September 17, paper accepted for Snapshot 20/20 Symposium in April, 2020, rescheduled as Constitution Day public lecture, delivered remotely via video webcast, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC.
  • 2019: "The Spiritual and the Secular in Modern American Painting: Max Eastman and the Ashcan School,” September 4, September Series research presentation, College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences, Radford University, VA.
  • 2018: “Visualizing the ‘Poetry of Life’: Reconfiguring Religion through the Ashcan School of American Painters in the Pages of The Masses,” March 23, paper presented at Biennial Conference on the History of Religion, Boston College, Boston, MA.
  • 2017: Panelist, “Religious Liberty and the American Creed,” June 14, Study of the U.S. Institute on U.S. Culture and Society, Multinational Institute of American Studies, NYU Steinhardt, New York, NY.
  • 2016: “Rev. Eastman Goes to Chicago: Interreligious Encounter and Women’s Religious Leadership at the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions,” April 9, paper presented at American Society of Church History, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • 2012: “Faith and Politics,” October 20, interview with George Bodarky, Cityscape, radio broadcast, WFUV 90.7, New York, NY.
  • 2010: “The Masses’ Pagan Revolt: Max Eastman and ‘Religion’ among Modern U.S. Radicals,” November 1, paper presented at North American Religions Section, American Academy of Religion, Atlanta, GA.