Director of Online Learning and Digital Pedagogy

Hesston College,  Hesston KS

rebecca.barrett-fox@hesston.edu / anygoodthing.com


Ph.D. in American Studies (with honors), University of Kansas

M.A. in American Studies, University of Kansas

B.A. in English & Human Studies (summa cum laude), Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA



God Hates: Westboro Baptist Church, American Nationalism, and the Religious Right.

University Press of Kansas, 2016.


Guest Editor, Journal of Hate Studies, “Hate and Heritage” Special Issue. May 2017.


Teaching Online in the Age of COVID.” Forum contribution. (2021). Journal of American Studies 55(1), 212-241.

“How to Coronavirus Pandemic Will Change Our Future Teaching.” FORUM contribution (2020). –Religion and American Culture 30(2), 147-186.

with Kristen Donnelly. “Inspirational Romance.” The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Romance. Edited by Eric Selinger, Hsu-Ming Teo, and Jayashree Kamblé. In press.

with Matthew Costello, James Hawdon, and Colin Bernatzky, “The Perpetuation of Online Hate: A Criminological Analysis of Factors Associated with Participating in an Online Attack.” Journal of Hate Studies. Forthcoming.

“A King Cyrus President: How a Donald Trump Presidency Reasserts Conservative Christians’ Right to Hegemony.” Humanity & Society. October 2018.

with Jennifer Chappell Deckert, Jennifer C. Greenfield, Suzanne Kucharczyk, and Johanna M. Thomas. “400 Words at a Time: Transforming Our Writing in Academia.” Writing as a Way of Staying Human in a Time That Isn’t. Edited by Nate Mickelson. 2018. Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press, 2018.

“Comic, Tragic, and Burlesque Burkean Responses to Hate: Notes from Counterprotests of Antigay Pickets.” Contention 6, no. 1 (Summer 2018): 23-48.

Matthew Costello, Rebecca Barrett-Fox, Colin Bernatzky, James Hawdon, and Kelly Mendes. “Predictors of Viewing Online Extremism among American Youth.” Youth & Society, online publication ahead of print, April 4, 2018.

“The Bible and the Religious Right.” Handbook of the Bible in America. Edited by Paul Gutjahr.Oxford University Press, 2017.

“Constraints and Freedoms in Conservative Christian Women’s Lives,” Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Approaches.  Edited by Ayu Saraswati, Barbara Shaw, and Heather Rellihan. Oxford University Press, 2017.

“The 4th R: Encountering Conservative Christianity in the Classroom,” Thought & Action. Summer 2016.

“Christian Romance Novels: Inspiring Convention and Challenge,” in Romance Fiction and

American Culture: Love as the Practice of Freedom? Edited by William Gleason and Eric

Selinger. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Press, 2016.

“The Rise of Anti-Gay Religious Right Activism in the U.S.: A Review of Major Sociological

Theories,” in Globalized Religion and Sexual Identity: Policies, Voices and Contexts. Edited by

Heather Shipley. Boston: Brill, 2014.

“Congress at the Kitchen Table: Religious Right Applications of Moral Home Economics to

Federal Economic Policy,” in The Great Recession in Fiction, Film, and Television: Twenty First

Century Bust Culture. Edited by Kirk Boyle and Daniel Mrozowski, 211-232. New York: Lexington Books, 2013.

“Anger and Compassion on the Picket Line: Ethnography and Emotion in the Study of Westboro

Baptist Church,” Journal of Hate Studies 9, no. 1 (2010/11).

“Hope Faith and Toughness: An Analysis of the Christian Hero” in Empowerment versus

Oppression: 21st Century Views of Popular Romance Novels. Edited by Sally Goade, 93-102. New Castle, U.K.: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007.

“Tunnel of Reification: How the Tunnel of Oppression Reaffirms Righteousness for Members of

Dominant Groups,” Radical Teacher 80 (Winter 2007): 24-29.

“Remodeling the ‘University of Destruction’: Conflicts between Academic Workers and

Conservative Christians in American Universities,” Proteus: A Journal of Ideas 23, no. 2 (Oct. 2006): 1-8.

Higher Love: What Women Gain from Christian Romance Novels,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 4 (Summer 2003).


“College Is About Community, Not Just Courses. That’s a Challenge For Faculty This Fall.” EdSurge. Sept. 1, 2020.

“Discrimination as Love: Asbury, BYU, and LGBTQ+ Students.” Righting America. March 13, 2020.

“Ask the Expert: Religiosity.” SociologicalYou: NextGen Introductory Sociology. Edited by Angela Thompson and Keith Whitworth. Fort Worth, TX: United Instructors and Textbook Authors Co-op, 2018.

A Friendly Welcome to a Hate-Filled Church,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 3, 2017.

“The Theology of Westboro: The ‘World’s Meanest Church’ is More than Picket Signs,”

Religion Dispatches, Sept. 2, 2016.

“The Author’s Corner with Rebecca Barrett-Fox,” interview with John Fea, The Way of

Improvement Leads Home, Aug. 25, 2016.

“Hate Groups,” in The American Middle Class: An Economic Encyclopedia of Progress and

Poverty. Edited by Robert S. Rycroft. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press, forthcoming.

“7 Women Scholars on the Gender Divide in Religious Studies, the Power of Mentors, and

Leading While Female,” [Wendi Adamek, Nancy Ammerman, , Elaine Howard Ecklund, Serene

Jones, Peggy Levitt, Laura Maffly-Kipp, and Ann Taves]. Religion Dispatches. Nov. 21, 2015.

“God Hates Nags: Why in God’s name is Westboro Baptist Protesting Kim Davis?” Religion

Dispatches, Oct. 19, 2015.

“KIM DAVIS CAUSED GAY MARRIAGE! Westboro Baptist Church and Religious Anti-Gay

Politics,” Interview by Kelsy Burke, Girl w/Pen, a blog of The Society Pages, Sept.16, 2015.

“When Congregation-based Activism is… Complicated,” Studying Congregations, Aug. 11, 2015.

“The Americanization of Religious Minorities,” Entry in the Theory and Religion Series of

Religion Bulletin. Mar. 25, 2015.

“American Family Association,” “Baptism,” “Covenant Marriage,” and “Family Research Council,” Social History of American Families. Edited by Marilyn J. Coleman and Lawrence H.

Ganong. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Reference. 2014.

“When the Founder Dies: Westboro Baptist Church in the Aftermath of Pastor Fred Phelps’

Passing,” Interview by David G. Bromley, World Religions and Spiritual Project, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2014.

“Duck Dynasty Patriarch, Hero of the Christian Right,” Religion Dispatches, Dec. 23, 2013.

“A Response to ‘Evidentiary Boundaries and Improper Interventions: Evidence, Implications,

and Illegitimacy in American Religious Studies,” Bulletin for the Study of Religion, July 29,


“Christian Romance Novels,” The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception. Edited by Dale C. Alison, Jr., et al. Berlin: Verlag de Gruyter, 2013. Choice Outstanding Academic Title.

“A Bill Passes, Westboro Baptists Shrug,” Religion Dispatches, Aug. 8, 2012.

“Gay-Hating Church Burns ‘Idols’: A Report,” Religion Dispatches, Sept. 13, 2010.


Wilde, Melissa J. Birth Control Battles: How Race and Class Divided American Religion. Feminist Encounters. 6 no. 1: article 15. (2022).

Sara Kamali. Homegrown Hate: Why White Nationalists and Militant Islamists are Waging War Against the United States. Reading Religion, November 2021.

Burridge, Richard A. and Jonathan Sacks. Confronting Religious Violence: A Counternarrative. Reading Religion. January 2021.

Phelps-Roper, Megan. Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving  the Westboro Baptist Church, Kansas History. Spring 2021.

Jessica Johnson. Biblical Porn: Affect, Labor, and Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Evangelical Empire, Reading ReligionOctober 2018.

John Fea. Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, Reading Religion October 2018.

Damon Berry. Blood & Faith: Christianity in White Nationalism, Sociology of Religion 79 no. 3: 384-385.

Antony Alumkal, Paranoid Science: The Christian Right’s War on Reality, Contemporary Sociology 47 no. 5: 555-556. (Sept. 2018).

David Weaver-Zercher. Martyrs Mirror: A Social History. American Studies 56:3-4 (June 2018).

Matthew Avery Sutton and Darren Dochuk, editors. Faith in the New Millennium: The Future of Religion and American Politics, Reading Religion. (Nov. 2016).

Alison Collis Greene, No Depression in Heaven: The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Transformation of Religion in the Delta. Reading Religion. (Sept. 2016).

Lisa S. Shaver, Beyond the Pulpit: Women’s Rhetorical Roles in the Antebellum Religious Press.Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies 45 no. 3 (2014): 194-196.

Clara S. Lewis, Tough on Hate? The Cultural Politics of Hate Crimes Legislation, AmericanStudies 53 no. 4 (2014): 142-143.

Susan Crawford Sullivan, Living Faith: Everyday Religion and Mothers in Poverty, American Studies 53, no. 3 (2014): 92-93.

Thomas R. Pegram, One Hundred Percent American: The Rebirth and Decline of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and Arthur Goldwag, The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right, Journal of Hate Studies 10, no. 1 (2012), 221-229. [Review essay].

Tobin Shearer Miller, Daily Demonstrators: The Civil Rights Movement in Mennonite Homes and Sanctuaries, Journal of American History 99, no. 2 (Sept.2012): 662-663.

Robert Wuthnow, Red State Religion: Faith and Politics in America’s Heartland, Christian Century (Aug. 13, 2012): 40-41.

Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, Journal of Communication and Religion 35, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 93-96.

Mark D. Naison, White Boy, Radical Teacher 71 (Winter 2004): 10-11.


New Scholar Award, National Education Association, March 2017

$2500 for a publication that “offers practical approaches to improving teaching and learning at the college level”

“Rohwer Reconstructed: Interpreting Place through Experience”

National Parks Service, January 2015-February 2017

~$20,000 / Oral historian

“Radicalization on the Internet: Virtual Extremism in the U.S. from 2012 – 2017”

National Institute of Justice, January 2015-January 2018

$796, 906 / Co-Investigator

Title IV-E Grant, “Academic Partnership in Public Child Welfare”

State of Arkansas, August 2014-May 2016


The Bible in American Life Conference, Indiana University-Purdue

University Indianapolis’ Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, August 2014

$1000 / Participant

William Coolidge Fellowship

CrossCurrents Research Colloquium sponsored by Auburn Seminary, Columbia University, Jewish Theological Seminaries, and Union Theological Seminary, July 2014

Danforth Center for Religion & Politics

Washington University, November 2013 Travel Grant

$800 / Participant

Outstanding Paper Award, Society for Values in Higher Education, July 2013

Dissertation Fellowship, KU Graduate School, Fall 2010

Norm & Anne Yetman Dissertation Fellowship, KU American Studies, 2010

Summer Grant, KU Graduate School, Summer Grant, Summer 2008

University Women’s Fellowship, University of Kansas, 2005


    • Consultant for communities threatened by WBC pickets (2010-present)
    • Guest on Up to Date with Steve Kraske,“Westboro and the Religious Roots of Hate”
    • Media consultant for New York Times regarding the June 2016 Pulse shooting
    • Scholarly consultant for Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression (2015)
    • Media consultant for The Oregonian regarding Westboro Baptist Church protests
    • Media consultant for This Land magazine article on Religious Right politics
    • Media consultant for New York Times, Al Jazeera America, CNN, and The Huffington Post regarding the death of Fred Phelps
    • Guest on State of Belief [radio] to discuss death of Fred Phelps, March 22, 2014
    • Media consultant for Pacific Standard on Dave Ramsey and Christian financial planning, Nov. 2013
    • Guest on Up for Debate on Moody Bible Radio to discuss Christian romance novels, February 9, 2013
    • Subject of Evangelical Press Association First Place and Associated Church Press Award of Merit (2nd place) interview on researching Westboro Baptist Church in Sojourners magazine, May 2012
  • Media consultant for Topeka Capitol-Journal coverage of Snyder v. Phelps


November 2020, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines

“Teaching the Humanities Online,” keynote delivery to the College of Arts & Letters

April 2019, Allegheny Mennonite Conference Pastoral Retreat, Mt. Pleasant Pennsylvania

“Making Hate Unsustainable”

April 2019, Pittsburgh Mennonite Church, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

“Don’t Let Hate Win: Why Bigotry Still ‘Works’ in American Society and What You Can Do about It in Your Community” 

April 2019, University Mennonite Church, State College, Pennsylvania

“A Community Conversation about Hate”

April 2019, Community Peace Walk, State College, Pennsylvania

“Signs of Hope amid Hate”

November 2018, American Academy of Religion, Denver

“How Christian Nationalism Lays the Groundwork for White Nationalism”

April 2018, Holistic Education Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association and the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning of the National Council of Teachers, New York City

“Some Ways to Educate People Out of Hate and to Counteract the Ways They Are Educated Into It”

April 2018, International Network for Hate Studies, Oshawa, Ontario

“Online Hate Exposure and Government Mistrust”

April 2017, Hate of the Nation, Lincoln Cottage, Washington, D.C.

“Measuring Hate by Its Consequences”

January 2017, Sociology and Anthropology Brown Bag Series, Weber State University

“‘The Hottest Part of Hell’: Growing Up, Leaving, and Staying in Westboro Baptist Church”

November 2016, Texas A & M San Antonio

“Faith on the Picket Line: Westboro Baptist Church’s Hateful Uses of the First Amendment”

November 2016, American Academy of Religion

“GodSmacks: Westboro Baptist Church, Delivering God’s Hate in Love”

August 2016, Kansas City Public Library Lecture Series

“God Hates”

April 2016, Criminology, Sociology, and Geography Symposium, Arkansas State University

“The Uses of Religious Freedom and Trans Panic”

April 2016, Gender Seminar, Hall Center for the Humanities, University of Kansas

“Women Soldiers in the Culture Wars: Kim Davis, the Women of Westboro Baptist Church, and

Anti-Gay Activism”

April 2016, Eden Theological Seminary, HT126: Religion in American

“Tragic, Comic, and Burlesque Responses to Westboro Baptist Church”

April 2016, Southern Sociological Society, Atlanta

“Recruiting Soldiers in the Army of God: A Content Analysis of Anti-Abortion Online Archives”

March 2016, Mid-America American Studies Association, Lawrence, Kansas

“Soldier for the Lord, Warrior for the Babies: Canonization in the Army of God”

November 2015, Georgia State University, REL 4255/6255: Religion, Race, and Nation

“Religion, Race, and Hate: The Strange Case of Westboro Baptist Church”

October 2015, American Studies Association, Toronto

“Homo- and Heteronormativity in Anti- Anti-Gay Activism”

October 2015, Love Between the Covers Panel Discussion, Arkansas State University

“Researching Christian Romance Novels and their Readers”

October 2015, Title IV-E Grant Lunch and Learn, Arkansas State University

“The State of LGBTQ+ Families and Youth”

September 2015, Feminist Union, Arkansas State University

“The Place of Men in Feminist Organizations”

August 2015, American Sociological Association and Association for the Sociology of Religion,

Chicago; joint panel of the ASA and ASR

“Standing Up to (Some Kinds of) Hate: Ambivalence in Community Responses to Westboro

Baptist Church”

April 2015, Criminology, Sociology, and Geography Symposium, Arkansas State University

“United Against What? Ambivalence in Protests of Anti-Queer Activism”

March 2015, Southern Sociological Society, New Orleans

“Radicalization on the Internet: A Virtual Ethnography of Domestic Extremism and Hate”

(presenter), with Matt Costello and Thomas Ratliff

March 2015, Midwest Sociological Society, Kansas City

“Taking the Sociological Imagination Public: Revising the Goals of the Capstone Course,” with Gretchen Hill (presenter)

March 2015, Social Work 4363: Religion and Spirituality in Social Work Practice, Arkansas

State University

“Religion in Arkansas: A Snapshot of Diversity”

March 2015, Multicultural Center, Arkansas State University

“Red Wolf Religiosity”

March 2015, Eden Theological Seminary, HT126: Religion in American

“Ways of Standing Up to Homophobia”

November 2014, Arkansas Sociology and Anthropology Association, University of Central


“Rubbing Religion the Wrong Way: Teaching in the Context of Conservative Protestantism”

November 2014, Social Work 3343: Child Welfare and Neglect, Arkansas State University

“Religiously-Justified Child Abuse”

October 2014, Rutgers University, Income Inequality in U.S. Politics and Culture Conference

“Saving Ourselves: Cynicism and Self-Help in Christian Money Management and Social Welfare Policy”

August 2014, The Bible in American Life, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’

Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture

“Money Talks: Biblical Teaching on Personal Finance, Debt, and Economic Policy”

August 2014, American Sociological Association, San Francisco

“Debt Shaming: Internalized Classism among Financial Peace University Students” (roundtable)

April 2014, Fair Housing Conference, Little Rock, Arkansas

“National Origins and Diversity in Arkansas: Patterns, Puzzles, and Possibilities”

March 2014, Criminology, Sociology, and Geography Symposium, Arkansas State University

“Responding in Love: Countermessaging Westboro Baptist Church’s Funeral Pickets”

March 2014, Doing Disability Seminar, Arkansas State University

“Giving Birth, Preparing for Death: Birthing Babies with ‘Incompatible with Life’ Diagnoses”

March 2014, College of Humanities and Social Sciences Spring Seminar, Arkansas State


“Poverty, Debt, and Shame: Motivation to Change, Motivation to Shame in Dave Ramsey’s

Conservative Protestantism”

November 2013, American Studies Association, Washington, D.C.

“Congress at the Kitchen Table: Religious Right Applications of Moral Home Economics to

Federal Economic Policy”

October 2013, Multicultural Center, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas

“Women’s Sexuality: Rights and Responsibilities” [panelist]

March 2013, Wright State University-Lake Campus, Celina, Ohio

“Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Sexuality: Identifying Privilege”

September 2012, Hate Studies Symposium, Institute for Hate Studies, Washington D.C.

“Updates in Scholarly Literature about Hate”

September 2012: Bethel College Mennonite Church, Newton Kansas

“Religion, Politics, and Sex: Westboro Baptist Church as the Religious Right’s Radical Flank”

November 2011: Bethel College’s Convocation Speaker Series, Newton, Kansas

“Giving Jesus a Bad Name: Christian Responses to Westboro Baptist Church”

October 2011, American Studies Association, Baltimore, Maryland

“The Straight American Hero: Opposition to Military Funeral Pickets as Honoring the


April 2011: American Identities Honors Course, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

“Innovations in Ethnographic Methodologies: Studying Westboro Baptist Church”

April 2011, Institute for Hate Studies Bi-Annual Conference, Spokane, Washington

“Anger and Compassion on the Picket Line: Ethnography and Emotion in the Study of Westboro

Baptist Church”

April 2011: Gonzaga University School of Law, Spokane, Washington

Invited Lecture, “Why Picket? Theological Thinking and Westboro Baptist Church,”

April 2011: Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington

Invited Lecture, “Understanding Westboro Baptist Church,” Political Philosophy,

November 2010, American Studies Association, San Antonio, Texas Chair, New Directions in

American Christian Material Culture Studies Re-engaging Colleen McDannell’s Material

Christianity, featuring respondent Colleen McDannell

April 2010, Mid-American Humanities Council Conference, Lawrence, Kansas

“Savior or Anti-Christ? Barack Obama in the Religious Right Imagination”

March 2010, Graduate Research Symposium, Lawrence, Kansas

“Civility, Civil Liberties, and the Challenge of Westboro Baptist Church”

April 2009, Mid-America American Studies Association Conference, Iowa City, Iowa

“A Womb of One’s Own: The Difficulties of Embryo Adoption for the Religious Right”

March 2009, Middle Atlantic American Studies Association Conference, Elizabethtown, PA

“Westboro Baptist Church versus Every Decent American Citizen: What Public Response to

Snyder v. Phelps Reveals about American Heteronationalism”

October 2008, American Studies Association, Albuquerque, New Mexico

“‘Pray Not for this People for their Good’: Westboro Baptist, the Religious Right, and the

American Nation”

October 2007, American Studies Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“‘America: A Sodomite Nation of Flag-Worshipping Idolaters’: Examining the Claim that

Deviant Sexual Practices Will Destroy America”

March 2007, First North American Conference on Global Radicalism, East Lansing, MI

“Pacifism at the Fringe: The Anti-War Messages of Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, Kansas”

April 2006, Mid-America American Studies Association Conference, St. Louis, Missouri

“‘God Hates’ and ‘Fags’: The Not-So-Shocking Shock Speech of Fred Phelps of Westboro

Baptist Church”

September 2005, Interdisciplinary Scholars Initiative, Lawrence, Kansas

“‘Apostate Nation’: Geographic Metaphors of Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church”

March 2005, New Literacies Conference, Lawrence, Kansas

“Strategies for Incorporating Local Culture into the College Classroom”

October 2003, Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s), Columbus, Ohio

“(Christian) Women in Love: Conventional Language and Personal Experience in the Lives of

Christian Romance Readers”

April 2003, New England American Studies Association, Hartford, Connecticut

“Higher Love: What Women Gain from Christian Romance Novels”

March 2003, Cultural Studies Symposium at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas

“Sentiment and Sympathy: Reading Christian Romance Novels”


2017-present editorial board member of Journal of the American Academy of Religion

2012-Present American Sociological Association member

2011-Present Book review editor, Journal of Hate Studies

2007-Present American Studies Association, member

2015-2016 Women and Gender Studies Director, Arkansas State University

2011-2013 Religion & American Culture Caucus Co-Chair, American Studies Association

2012-2013 Faculty Council, Hesston College

Occasional reviewer: Approaching Religion, Social Problems, American Studies, Girl: An Interdisciplinary Journal, American Studies, Teaching Sociology, Teachers College Record, Journal of Popular Romance Studies, Journal of Contemporary Religion




Assistant Professor of Sociology, Arkansas State University


Professor, Social Sciences, Hesston College, Hesston, Kansas


Instructor and Trainer, Graduate Writing Program, University of Kansas

Summer 2009

Lecturer, American Studies, University of Kansas


Graduate Intern, Freshman-Sophomore English Program, University of Kansas


Instructor, American Studies, University of Kansas

Introduction to sociology

Social problems

Sociology of families

Social diversity

Social psychology

Understanding America

US History I & II

Cultural anthropology

Social science research methods

Applied research

Sociology of religion

Sociology of sexuality

Senior research seminar

History of US religion

Sex, Religion, & Politics in the Contemporary U.S

Thesis writing workshop

Dissertation writing workshop

Please request my teaching portfolio for detailed syllabi, signature assignments, assessment

plans, reflections, and samples of student work with my feedback.

Course-level assessment

Program-level assessment

Developing student writing

Strengthening student research skills

Supervising student research

Course design

Curricular mapping

Online learning

Test design

Teaching in high-conflict classrooms

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