- Degree: Began Ph.D. program in 2015
- Concentration: Communities and Identities
- Advisor: Philip Arnold
Abel’s research engages questions of place, memory, and identity, particularly within Indigenous, Latinx, and Neo-Pagan religious traditions. His work draws on history of religions, anthropology, and Indigenous and decolonial feminisms to unpack the role of religious practice for peoples who have been colonized, racialized, and/or otherwise marginalized within the lands now known as the United States. He is especially interested in the ways that colonized communities creatively draw upon religious practices to heal ruptures of relations with humans, lands, ancestors, and the other-than-human worlds. Abel is currently at work on his dissertation, Sacred Sites, Ceremony, and Belonging in Ohlone Territory: A Case Study of Indigenous Survival. The dissertation is an ethnography of Indigenous Ohlone sacred sites protection movements, Ohlone cultural revitalization, and land-based belonging in the San Francisco-Monterey regions.
Abel has received research funding from the Center for the Study of Religion and the City, with whom he also conducted oral histories with community organizations as part of their Covid-19 relief and restoration work. He is part of the 2020 Sacred Writes public scholarship cohort. In addition to coursework in the Religion Department, Abel has completed a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Women’s and Gender Studies. He earned a BA in Philosophy and Religion from San Francisco State University and an MA in Religious Studies from the University of Missouri.