Emily Normand is currently researching the roots of religiosidad popular (also known as piedad popular) in the Southern Cone. The subject of her investigation is Fr. Joaquin Alliende, a Chilean priest of the Schönstatt order. Fr. Alliende is the author of the section on popular religion for the Third General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate in Puebla, Mexico, 1979. She is advised by Professor Peter Casarella, director of Latin American/North American Church Concerns and Associate Professor of Theology. As his research assistant, Normand has aided in a wide array of projects, some of which include the study of Blessed Óscar Romero, Salvadoran martyr and various book projects. This year, she will complete her thesis on the evolution of ecclesiastial thought behind religiosidad popular.
In the Summer of 2018, Normand was awarded an Experiencing the World Fellowship to conduct preliminary research in Santiago, Chile on the subject of religiosidad popular, especially concerning its history as pertains to the authorship and practice of religiosidad popular in the Latin American Church. While in Chile, Normand had the opportunity to interview Fr. Alliende and other distinguished scholars of religiosidad popular in the Southern Cone.
In addition to the Experiencing the World Fellowship, Normand is the recipient of various other fellowships and grants. In the summer of 2017, Normand was awarded a Summer Language Abroad grant in Spanish. She traveled to Cusco, Peru to complete a 7-week intensive language study in the historic capital of the Inca Empire. In the winter of 2018, she was awarded a Kellogg ISP conference grant to attend a conference on migration in New York City. In the spring of 2018, she was awarded a grant through the Center for Ethics and Culture to attend a conference in Rome to aid her project on the diversity of language as a way of thinking about the dignity of the other.
Thesis Title: The Road to Puebla