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Kelly Douma Kaelin

Kelly Douma Kaelin

PhD Candidate

108 Weaver Building
University Park , PA 16802

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. PhD Candidate in Dual-Title History and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program
  2. MA, Pennsylvania State University, 2018
  3. BA, Washington and Lee University, 2016, Cum Laude


For the 2020-2021 academic year, I am a Fulbright Fellow in residence at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany. My dissertation, "To Be Proposed as Useful: Religion, Gender, and Migration in the Eighteenth Century Moravian Church", focuses on gender, sexuality, and marriage within the early modern Moravian Church with broader implications for what I consider the early modern German world. I particularly focus on the ways in which women were able to migrate throughout Europe and the Atlantic world through the avenues created by the Church, which in its own way exploited pre-existing imperial structures. Given this theoretical and imperial infrastructure, women from the peripheral areas of east central Europe were able to become part of a global missionary enterprise. I explore how Moravian women navigated both these systems and the institution of marriage in a Moravian theological context to become some of the most forgotten but pervasive German migrants in the eighteenth century. In a larger sense, this project is also about how an ethnic German population that was not a state nor an imperial power could still participate in the imperial project.