Assistant Professor of Politics/ Culture/ History, University College Utrecht
Markha Valenta is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work addresses the ways globalization is reshaping public religion and pluralist democracy in the United States, the Netherlands and India. The focus of her work is on world cities, social movements and diversity politics. Past research and publications have addressed a range of ways in which public religion and global diversity politics impact our societies including the Catholic Worker movement; Dutch debates on Islamic headscarves and on Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter; the forgetting and commemorating of Dutch slavery’s violence in the Caribbean; the historiography of Muslims in India; and the future of American Studies as an academic field. Currently, Markha’s research focuses on two projects: one examines New York City’s Sanctuary movement relative to issues of mestizaje, urban citizenship, and the desecration/sacralization of the international state system and the second studies the politics of religious architecture in Amsterdam/Mumbai/New York.
In 2012, Markha joined the program in American Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen, with an emphasis on teaching US international relations, democratic politics and history. Starting in 2014, Markha organized the American Studies BA program, its collaboration with Cultural Studies and the internationalization of the English department program. In September 2019, Markha moved to University College Utrecht in order to develop community-engaged projects at the college and, more broadly, a new Community Engagement Platform for UCU faculty and students at the local, national and international levels.