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Abel Gomez

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Abel R. Gomez

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

Copeland Hall


PhD, Religion, Syracuse University, 2021
MA, Religious Studies, University of Missouri, 2015
BA, Philosophy and Religion, San Francisco State University, 2013

Personal Statement

Abel R. Gomez earned his PhD in Religion as well as a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Women’s and Gender Studies from Syracuse University (Onondaga Nation territory). Dr. Gomez’s research and teaching examines the relationships between sacred sites, ceremony, gender and sexuality, Indigenous cosmologies, and decolonization. He is currently at work on his manuscript titled Living on Ohlone Lands: Sacred Sites, Ceremony, and Solidarities. This book draws on his ethnographic research among Ohlone tribal communities in the San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay regions to theorize Indigenous revitalization and movements to protect sacred sites. He is a steering committee member for the Native Traditions in the Americas Unit of the American Academy of Religion and recently served on the committee organizing the annual Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits Powwow in San Francisco. In addition to work in the academy, Dr. Gomez is committed to public facing scholarship to amplify voices and movements of Indigenous sovereignty and decolonial futurity.  He descends from Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, and Mexican lineages that migrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, the homeland of the Ohlone peoples.

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Native American and Indigenous Religions, Indigenous and Decolonial Feminisms, Two-Spirit Critique, Globalization, Ethnography, Decolonial Theory, Indigenous Revitalization, Spatial Theory

Honors and Recognition

2020, Research Fellowship, CSRC Covid-19 Research on Relief and Restoration Work – Center for the Study of Religion and the City, Morgan State University

2020- 2021, Sacred Writes Public Scholarship Fellow

2019, Research Grant, Center for the Study of Religion and the City, Morgan State University

2019, Media Partnership with Sacred Writes and ReligionForBreakfast YouTube Chanel to write and co-produce educational video “Intro to Indigenous Religions.”

2017, Toni Taverone Graduate Paper Prize - “Decolonizing the Chicana Spirit: Indigenous Religion and Chicana Feminism.” - Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Syracuse University

Selected Research and Creative Activity

2021, Speaker, “#SaveTheWestBerkeleyShellmound: Sacred Sites and Indigenous Futures in Ohlone Territory,” Native American and Indigenous Studies Association

2020, Speaker, “Defending Indigenous Sacred Places: Perspectives from Ohlone Territory/San Francisco Bay Area,” American Academy of Religion

2020, Speaker, “Decolonial Futures: Religion as a Source of Resistance.” Raising Our Voices conference of the American Anthropological Association

2019, Speaker, “(En)Gendering Indigenous Ceremonial Revival: Restoring Good Relations,” “Author Meets Critics: Cutcha Risling Baldy’s We Are Dancing for You: Native Feminisms and the Revitalization of Women’s Coming-of-Age Ceremonies,” American Academy of Religion

2018, Speaker, “Becoming Brujas: Rise of Women and Queer of Color Witchcraft in the U.S,” American Academy of Religion

2017, Speaker, “(Re)Claiming Bruja Feminism: Transnational Flows of Race, Gender, and Magic,” Association of Jotería Arts, Activism, and Scholarship

2016, Speaker, “Shellmound Peace Walk: Prayer, Pilgrimage, and Activism in Ohlone Territory.” American Academy of Religion