Assistant Professor of Religion
Julie Byrne is excited about coming back to Durham after four years of teaching American religious history at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Durham is her adopted home, as she spent time at Duke for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. In her Ph.D. work, Julie was able to bring two of her passions--religion and basketball--together, writing her book O God of Players (Columbia, 2003) about the Immaculata Mighty Macs, the first women's college basketball champions, who came from a Philadelphia Catholic culture precociously supportive of girls' hoops. Her next book, The Other Catholic Church, also looks at this religious body from a new angle, exploring faith groups who do not answer to the pope but still consider themselves fully Catholic. As for basketball, she's back in real basketball territory (ACC, not Conference USA!) and plans to take full advantage, both watching and--finally--learning to play.
In the classroom, Julie is well-known as a high-energy and provocative teacher who has a "thing" about good writing. On the side, she likes to visit different houses of worship--from mosques to synagogues to pentecostal churches and Sikh gurdwaras--and will be eager to check out how Durham has grown and changed religiously since she's been away. As a Faculty-in-Residence, she'll be inviting students to come along to explore the area's religious diversity. In her spare time, Julie runs, does yoga, thrift-shops, listens to hip-hop, and cooks a mean rack of ribs.
118 Gray Bldg
Residence: 103 Randolph (613-1793)