Dr Caroline Anne Blyth

MA St And., MA MTh, PhD Edin

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Senior Lecturer
Assistant Dean Students&Equity

Biography

In my early career, I studied for a degree in Psychology and subsequently worked in the field of mental health. My fascination with religious studies was first ignited when I began an undergraduate Arts degree at the University of Edinburgh in 2000. Since being awarded my doctorate in 2008, I have taught courses in biblical studies, biblical languages, and religious studies at both St Andrews University and Edinburgh University.

Here at the University of Auckland, I teach a range of courses, which all explore the complex relationships between religion and contemporary popular culture. I am also involved in the School of Medicine's Medical Humanities programme and teach a course on religion, spirituality, and health.

Working at the University of Auckland

I was invited by the Times Higher Education to contribute to an article on British academics' experiences of working overseas. The article can be found here. I also wrote about living with a partner who does not work in academia, which can be found here.

Bible and Critical Theory

Along with my colleague Dr Robert Myles, I am current managing co-editor of the Bible and Critical Theory journal.

Research | Current

  • Gender violence, rape culture and religion
  • Religion, gender, and sexuality - representations of gender, sexuality and the body through feminist and postfeminist lenses
  • Religion in art, film and literature 
  • Cultural studies and religion - the political potential of religious studies as a means of cultural critique and change
  • Critical theory and queer theories in cultural and religious studies
  • Religion in an age of terror and violence

My recent research projects include:

  • The Lost Seduction: Delilah's Afterlives as Femme Fatale I have recently completed a monograph, which explores the biblical character of Delilah (Judges 16) and her various 'afterlives' (in music, literature, and the visual arts) as a femme fatale. I am fascinated by the way that these 'afterlives' in popular culture so often reflect common cultural ideologies pertaining to women's sexualities and bodies. Using gender and queer theories, I reimagine new afterlives for this complex biblical character, which present the iconic image of the femme fatale in new and multifaceted ways. This monograph will be published by Bloomsbury later this year.
  • Sexuality, Ideology, and the Bible: Antipodean Perspectives (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2015) - This volume, which I co-edited with  Robert Myles in 2015, contains a collection of essays on sexuality, gender, and the Bible from scholars located in the Antipodes. Robert Myles and I are both passionate about developing and articulating a distinctive Antipodean contextual location for engaging in biblical interpretation (an approach that has, to date, remained underexplored), focusing in particular on the increasingly popular subfield of queer biblical interpretation. We are also dedicated to producing a volume that showcases the commitment of many biblical scholars to explore issues of gender and sexuality in ways that embrace and affirm diversity and difference. A recent review of this volume described it as follows: "I wonder when I last read a book in biblical studies that was so much fun, so inspiring, and so willing to make grand socio-political, cultural, and religious connections.  For sure, I will assign this book as a foundational reading in the next installment of my course on queer Bible hermeneutics.
  • The Shiloh Project : Rape Culture, Religion and the Bible. I recently set up this project with colleagues from the Sheffield Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies (SIIBS, University of Sheffield) and the University of Leeds. It will explore the various ways in which religious traditions and biblical texts can both challenge and contradict cultural discourses that support gender violence and rape culture. It will also explore the multiple social identities that invariably intersect with rape culture, including gender, sexuality, race and class. Further details of the Shiloh Project can be found here.
  • Rape Culture, Gender Violence, and Religion: As  part of the Shiloh Project, I will be co-editing a three-volume edited series titled Rape Culture, Gender Violence, and Religion with colleagues Dr Emily Colgan (Trinity Methodist College, Auckland) and Dr Katie Edwards (SIIBS). The series will showcase a wide range of interdisciplinary essays by international scholars in the fields of religious studies, biblical studies, sociology, anthropology, counselling, theology, and cultural studies. Together, they demonstrate the complex intersections that exist globally between rape culture and religion.
  • The Gothic Bible: In conjunction with SIIBS and The Centre for the History of the Gothic, I am participating in a new interdisciplinary venture venture that will highlight and explore the various interplays between biblical concepts and iconography and Gothic fiction and drama. From its inception, this literary genre has continued to showcase associations with the Bible, theology, and/or religion. Further details of the Gothic Bible project can be found here.

Teaching | Current

THEOREL 101/G Bible and Popular Culture

THEOREL 206 Religion in Film and Television

THEOREL 211 Religion, Gender and Sexuality

THEOREL 306 Special Topic: Religion in the Visual Arts

THEOREL 311 Religion, Gender and Sexuality

MBChB 311 Medical Humanities: Religion, Spirituality and Healing

Postgraduate supervision

I would welcome inquiries from students interested in postgraduate studies in any area of biblical studies and/or textual approaches to religious studies, particularly within the fields of biblical reception history, religion and cultural studies/popular culture, religion and gender violence, Jewish literature of the Second Temple Period, gender and queer approaches to religion and the Bible.

Current and recent doctoral students

Teguh Wijaya Mulya, Transgressive Subjects: Indonesian Christian Youth, Sexuality, and Resistance.

Mike Meyer, Jacob wrestling with the angel (Gen 32), Merleau Ponty, and the spirituality of MMA.

Jekheli Kimbali Singh, A Contextual Reading of Woman Wisdom in Proverbs 1-9 and the totimi kuchou (true woman) concept in Sümi Naga tribe of India.

Arthur Wulf,  Reading the Genesis creation accounts (Genesis 1-3)  from a Samoan Gafataulimaina perspective.

Therese Kiely, Pacific young women's images of God and mental wellbeing.

Anne Aalbers, Noli me tangere in John's gospel and the case for early Christian celibacy

Responsibilities

Undergraduate Adviser, Theological and Religious Studies

As Rainbow Arts Equity Liaison, I am co-director of equity project Hidden Perspectives NZ: Bringing the Arts out of the Closet, which provides a platform for LGBTI+ student voices across the Faculty of Arts. Hidden Perspectives is committed to sustaining a social and academic community of LGBTI+ students within Arts, where everyone can meet, share ideas, and make their voices heard.

Find Hidden Perspectives NZ on Twitter @HPerspectivesNZ

Find Hidden Perspectives NZ on Facebook

Areas of expertise

  • Gender violence, rape culture, and religion
  • Religion, gender, and sexuality: representations of gender, sexuality, and the body through feminist and postfeminist lenses
  • Religion in art, film, and literature
  • Cultural studies and religion - the political potential of religious studies as a means of cultural critique and change
  • Critical theory and queer theories in cultural and religious studies
  • Religion in an age of terror and violence

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Theological and Religious Studies representative on DA committee, School of Humanities

Staff representative for TheoRel's Staff-Student Consultative Committee

Rainbow Arts Equity Liaison

Member of Genders Studies Board of Studies

Member of the International Editorial Board for Colloquium: The Australian and New Zealand Theological Review

Managing Editor of Bible and Critical Theory journal

 

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Blyth, C. A. (2016). Engaging with Cultural Discourses: Cultural Feminist Criticism in Hebrew Bible Studies. In S. Scholz (Ed.) Feminist Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Retrospect. III. Methods. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press.
  • Blyth, C. A. (2015). A Pilgrim's Progress: Learning to Journey with the Dying Patient. In T. Meadowcroft, C. A. Blyth (Eds.) Spirituality and Cancer: Christian Encounters (pp. 73-84). Auckland, New Zealand: Accent Publications. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27934
  • Meadowcroft, T., & Blyth, C. A. (Eds.) (2015). Spirituality and Cancer: Christian Encounters. Auckland, New Zealand: Accent Publications. Pages: 228.
  • Blyth, C. A. (2015). Lisbeth and Leviticus: Biblical Literacy and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In K. Edwards (Ed.) Rethinking Biblical Literacy (pp. 165-186). London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark. Related URL.
  • Myles, R. J., & Blyth, C. A. (Eds.) (2015). Sexuality, Ideology and the Bible: Antipodean Engagements. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix.
  • Blyth, C. A., & Mulah, T. (2015). The Delilah Monologues. In C. Blyth, R. Myles (Eds.) Sexuality, Ideology, and the Bible: Queer Readings from the Antipodes. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press.
  • Blyth, C. (2014). When Raymond Met Delilah. Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception, 4 (1), 41-41. 10.11157/rsrr4-1-585
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26010
  • Blyth, C. A. (2014). Lost in the “Post”: Rape Culture and Postfeminism in Admen and Eve. The Bible and Critical Theory, 10 (2). Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26007

Identifiers

Contact details

Office hours

By appointment.

Primary location

HUMANITIES - Bldg 206
14A SYMONDS ST
AUCKLAND 1010
New Zealand

Social links

Web links