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Marcia C. Robinson

Marcia C. Robinson

Marcia C. Robinson

Assistant Professor


511 Hall of Languages
Office: 315.443.5726


Women's and Gender Studies


  • Ph.D., Religion (History of Christian Thought), Emory University (2001)
  • M.A., Religion (History of Christian Thought), Emory University (1986)
  • Enrolled in the Religion and Art M.A./Ph.D. Program, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1988-1989)
  • B.A., Classics, Concentration in Latin, Minor in Studio Art and Art History, Georgia State University (1987)

Courses Taught

  • REL 156 Christianity
  • REL 300 Kierkegaard and Nietzsche
  • REL 341 Women, Abolition and Religion in 19th-century America
  • REL 440 Modern Religious Thought
  • REL 600 Kierkegaard Seminar
  • REL 650 Themes 19th-Century Religious Thought
Research and Teaching Interests

Professor Robinson specializes in the history of Western Christian thought and culture, with an emphasis on 19th-century Europe and America. Her research and teaching focus broadly upon issues in theological anthropology and aesthetics; religion, culture, and identity; and religion and art, and specifically upon Kierkegaard; religion, romanticism, and idealism; Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and the Tanners; women, religion, and social reform movements in 19th-century America; and Kierkegaard and black religious thought, art, and aesthetics.

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 2002-present.
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA, Spring 2002.
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, American Baptist Seminary of the West, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA, Spring 2002
  • Assistant Professor of Church History, Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO, 1996-1999.

Book Manuscript Published Articles, Reviews, and Dictionary Entries Work in Progess Dissertation Masters Thesis

  • "The Noblest Types of Womanhood": Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and the White Anti-Slavery Women of Maine. Under review.
  • “ ‘What Time is It?....Eternity’: Kierkegaard’s Socratic Use of Hegel’s Insights on Romantic Humor.” In All Too Human: Laughter, Humor, and Comedy in 19th-Century Philosophy, ed. Lydia Moland, 115-136. Vol. 7. Boston Studies in Philosophy, Religion and Public Life, ed. C. Allen Speight. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Internationa Publishing, 2018.
  • “Storytelling and the Development of the Religious Imagination in Kierkegaard’s Authorship.” In Kierkegaard, Literature, and the Arts, ed. Eric Ziolkowski, 71-84. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2018.
  • “The Tragedy of Edward ‘Ned’ Davis: Entrepreneurial Fraud in Maryland in the Wake of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law.” In The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography CXL, no. 2 (April 2016): 167-182.
  • “Tieck: Kierkegaard’s ‘Guadalquivir’ of Open Critique and Hidden Appreciation.” In Kierkegaard and His German Contemporaries: Literature and Aesthetics, Vol. 6, Tom e III, Section One (Sources), Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception, and Resources, ed. Jon Stewart, 271-314. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate for the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre, 2008.
  • Review of Women’s Rights and Transatlantic Antislavery in the Era of Emancipation, ed. Kathryn Kish Sklar and James Brewer Stewart (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007), 416 pp., in Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 11, no. 4 (December 2007). [database online]
  • “Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.” In Maine’s Visible Black History: The First Chronicle of Its People, ed. H. H. Price and Gerald E. Talbot, 265-266, 356. Gardiner, ME: Tilbury House Publishers and the University of Southern Maine, 2006.
  • “Religion.” In Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History: The Black Experience in the Americas, ed. Colin Palmer et al, 1909-1922. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, MacMillan Reference USA, 2006. Substantial revision of essay originally written by Milton C. Sernett.
  • “Schiller” and “Play Impulse.” In The Edinburgh Dictionary of Continental Philosophy, ed. Jon Protevi, 518-519, 453-454, respectively. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005.
  • Review of The Biblical Kierkegaard: Reading By the Rule of Faith, by Timothy Houston Polk (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1997), 232pp., in Kierkegaardiana 23 (2004): 231-235.
  • “Hope Baptist Church.” An ethnographic narrative of an African-American Church in Atlanta. In Nancy Tatom Ammerman, Congregation and Community, 229-232. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997.
  • "Cornel West: Kierkegaard and the Construction of a ‘Blues Philosophy’ .” Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources, ed. Jon Stewart, Volume 14 (Ashgate, forthcoming); accepted by editor, under review by editorial board.
  • "Kierkegaard—A Resource for People of Color?," in Beyond the Pale: Reading Theology from the Margins, ed. Miguel De La Torre and Stacey Floyd-Thomas (Westminster John Knox, forthcoming), under review.
  • “Ars Divina: Kierkegaard’s Conception of Christian Poetic Living.” Doctoral dissertation, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 2001. Currently being revised as a book manuscript.
  • “The Wonder of Christianity: A Study of Søren Kierkegaard's Philosophical Fragments.” Unpublished Master's thesis, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 1991.
Professional Papers & Presentations
  • “ ‘Live!’: Kierkegaard’s Wisdom as Quiet Pastor to Those Who Mourn,” Eighth International Hong Kierkegaard Library Conference, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, June 13-17, 2018
  • "Frances E. W. Harper," Oneida Mansion House Historical Talk and Discussion, February 2018.
  • “Bartering Principle for Wealth and Power: Frances E. W. Harper’s Critique of American Capitalism,” Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, Hofstra University, New York, NY, June 1-4, 2017.
  • “The Relevance of Protestantism for the Modern and Post-Modern West—Revisited,” Plenary Lecture, “Trajectories of Grace (Re)formation Today,” 2017 Mercersburg Convocation in Honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Lancaster Theological Seminary and Mercersburg Theological Society, June 5, 2017.
  • “I Wear An Easy Garment”: Frances E. W. Harper as Anti-Slavery Orator on Maine’s Free Soil Republican Campaign Trail.” The Induction of Frances E. W. Harper into the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in Peterboro, NY on October 20, 2018
  • "Black Women in the Polis: Frances E. W. Harper on Womanhood and Citizenship in Late 19th-Century America." A paper presented at the Organization of American Historians, April 7-10, 2010.
  • “Frances Watkins, Anti-Slavery, and Free-Soil Republicanism in 1850s Maine.” A Paper presented on the panel, Women, Politics, and Violence in the Anti-Slavery Movement, 14th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, June 12-15, 2008, Minneapolis, MN.
  • “Black Moses, Black Christ: Religion, Race, and Heroism in the Journalistic Literature of Frances E. W. Harper.” A Paper presented in the session, American Heroes, Race(d) Heroes, and Erased Heroes in the Early Black Press, American Studies Association, October 11, 2007.
  • “Writing Women’s Religious History from a Responsible Feminist and Womanist Perspective.” Copresentation with Margaret Susan Thompson, New Feminist Scholarship Series, Women Studies Program, Syracuse University, April 25, 2007.
  • “Frances Harper, Søren Kierkegaard, and the Complex Mirror of Identity.” A Paper presented at the“Tragic Vision: The Aesthetic Dimension of American Religious Consciousness” Symposium, Graduate Theological Union, April 20-22, 2006, San Anselmo, CA.
  • “Kierkegaard’s Conception of Poetic Living: Aesthetic Unity and Religious-Ethical Life-View in the Journals and Dissertation.” A Paper presented at the Fifth International Kierkegaard Conference, Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College, June 11-15, 2005, Northfield, MN.
  • “The Black Mother as Moses-Christ: A Reading of Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s Iola Leroy.” A Paper presented to the Pan-African/ Womanist Group, Western Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, March 23, 2003, Davis, CA.
  • “Review of Timothy Houston Polk, The Biblical Kierkegaard: Reading By the Rule of Faith (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1997). A paper presented to the Søren Kierkegaard Society, Book Panel, American Academy of Religion, Annual Meeting, November 17, 2001, Denver, CO.
  • “Kierkegaard and “The Other”: The Danish Dialogical Thinker.” A Paper co-authored with Edward F. Mooney and presented to the Pacific Coast Theological Society, Graduate Theological Union, November 3, 2001, Berkeley, CA.
  • “Ars Divina: Kierkegaard’s Conception of Christian Poetic Living.” An abstract of a doctoral dissertation presented to the Dissertation Panel, Fourth Annual Kierkegaard Conference, Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College, June 9-13, 2001, Northfield, MN.
  • “Kierkegaard on Creation, Incarnation, and Irony: Through Fichte to Romantic and Christian Poetic Living.” A Paper presented to the Theology and Philosophy of Religion Section, Western Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, March 12, 2001, Claremont, CA.
  • “Frances Harper: A 19th-century African-American Interpreter of Scripture.” A Paper presented to the Gender Issues Section, Central States Society for Biblical Literature, Joint Regional Meeting of the Midwest American Academy of Religion and the Central States Society for Biblical Literature, March 20, 1999, St. Louis, MO.
  • “Anticipating the Self Before God: The Lily of the Field as Worshiper of God.” A Paper presented to the Kierkegaard, Religion and Culture Group, American Academy of Religion, Annual Meeting, November 23, 1997, San Francisco, CA.
Professional Service
  • Organized and Facilitated “Despair, Evil, and Human Suffering: A Conversation between Kierkegaard and Black Theology,” session co-sponsored by the Kierkegaard, Religion, and Culture Group and the Black Theology Group, Annual Meeting, American Academy of Religion, Philadelphia, PA, November 19-20, 2005.
  • Co-Chair and Member, Program Committee, Kierkegaard, Religion, and Culture Group, American Academy of Religion, 1998-2006.
  • Digitized images of the Portland (Me) Inquirer, 1853-1855, for the Research Library of the Maine Historical Society in Portland, ME, as an extension of research on Frances E. W . Harper, 2004-2006.
  • Initiated, co-organized, conducted, and facilitated with Joanne Silverstein, then Director of Research and Development, Information Institute, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University, and the staff of the Maine Historical Society Research Library a cataloguing and indexing program for the digitized images of the Portland (Me) Inquirer, July 2006-June 2007.