Meet the University Ph.D. Fellows

Fellipe do Vale

Ph.D., Religious Studies

Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil

What is your research area?
I am working on a project where I give a theological account of gender from the Christian tradition, specifically from that part of it influenced by St. Augustine.  I first argue that the dominant view held by theorists of gender - that gender is a social construct - is neither philosophically consistent nor theologically plausible.  In contrast, I develop a view of gender drawing from  Augustine's thought that derives its conceptual categories from the identifying story of Christianity, namely, the gospel.  

What is something cool about your field?
It is over 2,000 years old! 

What is the best thing you've done as a graduate student at SMU so far?
I have been admitted and will present at a conference in Rome, Italy.  SMU's funding and support made it possible. 

What is your favorite thing to do in Dallas?
Explore all of the fantastic food options that are available! There are too many to pick just one.  

What do you wish you'd known before starting graduate schools?
I wish I had been told that it should be something that I love.  Thankfully, I do love what I do, but I could not imagine doing it if it were not something that gives me life and joy as well as an organizing purpose to my life's calling.  If graduate school is going to be this rigorous, the payoff should be just as great! 

What is your favorite leisure activity?
I love to be with my family, whether it is at home or in big family reunions.  I also really enjoy playing music, going for walks to look at birds, movies and contributing to my church.