Kelsey Spinnato

Ph.D., Religious Studies

Hometown: I'm originally from Houston, Texas, but I'd spent several years in the Southeast before returning to my roots with my move to Dallas. 

What is your research area?
My subfield in religious studies is Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.  Within that subfield, I study Hebrew prose narratives through narrative criticism and reception history.  

What is something cool about your field?
People have been studying the Hebrew Bible for thousands of years, and sometimes it can feel like there's nothing new to say, but then you'll reread a text you've read a hundred times, and a little sliver of a question, and idea, presents itself to you, and you wonder why no one has ever explored it before.  

What is the best thing you've done as a graduate student at SMU so far?
I love taking advantage of everything that's offered to me as a student at SMU.  I've cheered for our football, tennis, and swimming teams, and I've attended a bunch of really great lectures (including Anne Lamott, of whom I've been a fan for years). 

What is your favorite thing to do in Dallas?
Honestly, my favorite thing to do in Dallas is eat.  I'm so happy to be back in Texas, the land flowing with tacos and brisket.  

What do you wish you'd known before starting graduate schools?
I've never been good at skimming books, but I wish that was a skill with which I had entered my doctoral program. 

What is your favorite leisure activity?
I do a lot of reading for school, but I love to read a little bit of a just-for-fun book before I go to sleep at night.  Reading a variety of books makes me feel like a fuller, more balanced person.