I am a high school dropout who’s currently doing a Ph.D., because life is strange and interesting.
My first job was as a nanny at age 12, which I did for over a decade. I learned how to: negotiate competing interests; organize active work environments; multitask; and avoid major medical disasters. I was HR, custodial, nurse, cook, entertainer, educator, and manager of hazardous bodily fluids all in one.
Everything after that’s been a breeze.
The jobs I’ve done that society recognizes as more valuable are: healthcare administration for over a dozen years; teaching university students; and pursuing a doctoral degree in religious studies. I’ve published, won awards, and done television, print, and digital interviews on my research. I specialize in the fringe and marginal.
Hire me to challenge your worldview.
Downloadable PDF: Holt.CV.2018.pdf
(Also see my LinkedIn profile.)
Lecturer and Doctoral Candidate
Department of Religion, Concordia University
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2010—2018 Teaching and Teaching Assistantships—Concordia University
As a PhD candidate, I taught undergraduate courses. I designed classes around themes that build towards an upward trajectory, to trace how seemingly random ideas relate to their socio-religious context, placing emphasis on student engagement.
- Religions of the West, Concordia University (2016)
- Witchcraft, Magic, and Religion, Concordia University (2014, 2016)
- New Religious Movements in North America, Concordia University (2013)
- Religions of the West, Dr. S. Lapidus, Concordia University (2018)
- Encountering World Religions, Dr. L. Lamoureux Scholes, Concordia University (2018)
- History of Satan, Dr. L. DiTommaso, Concordia University (2010, 2011, 2015)
- Religions of Asia, Dr. S. Sharma, Concordia University (2013)
- Encountering Religions, Dr. H. Joseph, Concordia University (2013)
- Witchcraft, Magic, and Religion, Dr. M. Mamfredis, Concordia University (2012, 2013)
- New Religious Movements in North America, Dr. S. Palmer, Concordia University (2012)
2012—2016 Administrative Assistant to the Chair—Concordia Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies
The mandate of the Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies is to share knowledge with the Jewish community and within academia. I was the main point of contact for the Institute Chair, members of the association, scholars, sponsors, and partners. Specific tasks included:
- Coordinating conferences and events
- Assisting with the publication of the Canadian Jewish Studies journal
- Cataloging and shelving entries to the Avriel Butovsky Research Library
- Printing and mailing the newsletter and journal
- Processing membership forms and payments
- Answering inquiries by telephone and email
- Updating website with events, publications, and scholar profiles
2010—2014 Various—Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference, Department of Religion and Culture
I held various officer titles for the conference, and under my leadership, the conference reached a new level of excellence. I spearheaded these particular initiatives:
- Creating, building, and launching a dedicated website for the conference
- Building and managing all social media for the conference
- Circulating the Call for Papers
- Answering inquiries
- Acting as primary liaison for all conference presenters
- Maintaining detailed financial oversight, from fundraising to invoices and reimbursements, while remaining diligent with how conference funds were managed
- Overseeing the roles of volunteers
- Recruiting new volunteers in order to ensure the continued success of this all-important graduate conference
2010—2013 Editor in Chief—Journal of Religion and Culture, Graduate Journal
Over the course of three years, I held three different positions, each with their own unique responsibilities. In all cases it was imperative to meet the academic excellence and ethics compliance for the peer-review process.
- Fundraising, budget control, invoices, and reimbursements
- Formatting and editing articles up to publication standard
- Coordinating the entire publication process, from circulating the Call for Papers, to article submission, to peer-review, to editing and formatting, to final publication
- Implementing online publication using the Open Journal System
2012-Present. Doctorate of Philosophy—Religion, Department of Religion, Concordia University, Montreal
Currently pursuing degree on a part-time status. Projected graduation date is Summer 2019.
- Published in anthologies and peer-reviewed journals
- Conducted ethnographic research for my thesis
- Presented papers at multiple professional academic conferences, in Canada and abroad
- Guest lectured at Cégeps, Universities, as well as non-academic venues on my specialization
- On-air appearance as a subject matter expert for radio, print, and television
- Workshop leader, “How to Start a Graduate Journal,” GradProSkills
- Student representative, Comité conjoint du doctorat en sciences des religions
- Student representative, Advisory Search Committee—Chair, Department of Religion
- Awarded Certificate of Recognition for Graduate Student Service and Leadership
- Awarded Certificate of Excellence—PhD for my various efforts to enhance graduate student life by volunteering for the conference, journal, and graduate religion association committees
Jan.-June 2015 Guest PhD-Candidate—NTNU
Spent six months at the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology researching under the supervision of Dr. Jesper Aagaard Petersen, an expert in Western Esotericism.
- Fine-tuned my thesis topic in terms of its contribution to the field, ethics protocol for research with informants, methodological approaches, and the innovative claims in the dissertation
- Analyzed and critiqued related works in my field
- Co-wrote an article with Dr. Petersen for the Oxford Handbook on New Religious Movements, Vol. II
- Wrote an introductory chapter of my thesis
Awarded 2012 Master of Arts—History and Philosophy of Religion, Department of Religion, Concordia University, Montreal
- Published my first academic peer-reviewed article in 2011
- Presented at professional and graduate academic conferences
- Volunteered for graduate associations (conference, journal, students association)
- Partook in seminar on University Teaching
- Partook in workshop Writing for Publication, GradProSkills
- Partook in workshop Ethical Approach to Research, GradProSkills
Awarded 2008 Bachelor of Arts—Honours in Religion, Department of Religion, Concordia University
- Graduated with Honours
- Presented at the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Day
- Certificate of Excellence in Undergraduate Research, Department of Religion
- Dean’s List
- 2014-2017. Social Science and Research Council Doctoral Fellowship Award (SSHRC)
- 2014-2017. Fonds de recherche du Québec—Société et culture bourse de doctorat—in name only
- 2014-2015. Faculty of Arts and Science Merit Scholarship, Concordia University
- 2015. Quebec Student Mobility Bursary from the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur, Recherche, Science et Technologie (MESRST)
- 2012-2015. Faculty of Arts and Science Graduate Fellowship, Concordia University
- 2015. Religion and Diversity Project Graduate Research Grant
- 2012-2013. Faculty of Arts and Science Concordia Merit Scholarship, Concordia University
- Multiple travel and conference awards
- [Forthcoming] “Anton LaVey’s Interview in Jack Fritscher’s Popular Witchcraft .” In Oxford Reader on Modern Religious Satanism. Edited by Per Faxneld and Johan Nilsson. Oxford: OUP.
- [Forthcoming] “The Book of Coming Forth by Night and The Temple of Set.” In Oxford Reader on Modern Religious Satanism. Edited by Per Faxneld and Johan Nilsson. Oxford: OUP.
- 2017. “Satanic Total Environments: Playing with Art and Artifice,” La Rosa di Paracelso. Special issue: Diabolus in singulis est: The Devil, Satan and Lucifer, edited by Michele Olzi, Christian Giudice, and Roberto Revello. OJS || ISSN: 2532-2028.
- 2016. Reprint. “Blood, Sweat, and Urine: The Scent of Feminine Fluids in Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Witch.” In The Bloomsbury Reader in Religion, Sexuality and Gender. Edited by Donald L. Boisvert and Carly Daniel-Hughes. Bloomsbury Academic.
- 2016. Co-authored with Jesper Aagaard Petersen. “Modern Religious Satanism: A Negotiation of Tensions.” In Oxford Handbook on New Religious Movements, Vol. II. Edited by James R. Lewis and Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen. Oxford: OUP.
- 2013. “Blood, Sweat, and Urine: The Scent of Feminine Fluids in Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Witch,” International Journal for the Study of New Religions, 4.2: 177-199.
- 2011. “Death and Dying in the Satanic Worldview,” Journal of Religion and Culture, 22.1: 33-53.
- 2016. Review of: Asbjørn Dyrendal, James R. Lewis, and Jesper Aa. Petersen. 2016. The Invention of Satanism. New York: OUP. In Correspondences, 4: 152-154.
- 2016. Review of: Reuben van Luijk. 2016. Children of Lucifer: the Origins of Modern Religious Satanism. New York: OUP. In American Academy of Religion: Reading Religion. http://readingreligion.org/books/children-lucifer
- May 2016. “Satanic Total Environments: Playing with Art and Artifice,” Unravelling Religion, Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
- Nov. 2016. “Satanic Total Environments: Playing with Art and Artifice,” Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
- Nov. 2015. “Magic and Media: Centralizing the Material in Church of Satan Ritual,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting. Atlanta, Georgia
- June 2015. “Magic and Media: Centralizing the Material in Church of Satan Ritual,” Centre for Studies in New Religions (CESNUR). Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia
- June 2014. “Blood, Sweat, and Urine: The Scent of Feminine Fluids in Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Witch,” Centre for Studies in New Religions (CESNUR). Baylor University, Waco, Texas
- May 2014. “Une tribu d’exclus: les membres de l’Église de Satan négocient un espace liminaire dans la société,” 82ième congrès de l’Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas). Concordia University, Montreal
- April 2014. “Autonomy, Language, and Religion: How Quebec Satanists Negotiate the Chartre des valeurs québécoises,” Religion and Diversity Workshop: New Religions in Quebec. McGill University, Montreal
- Feb. 2014. “Blood, Sweat, and Urine: The Scent of Feminine Fluids in Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Witch,” Unravelling Religion: Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. Queen’s University, Kingston
- Nov. 2013. “’I-Theism’ in the Church of Satan: Self-Religiosity in Secular Societies,” American Academy of Religion’s Annual Meeting. Baltimore, U.S.A.
- June 2013. “The Reluctant Player: Negotiating Tensions in the Study of Religious Satanism,” Center for Studies in New Religion Conference: Changing Religious Movements in a Changing World. Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden
- Jan. 2012. “Death and Dying in the Satanic Worldview,” International Arts and Humanities Conference. Honolulu, Hawaii
- Feb. 2010. “Death and Dying in the Satanic Worldview,” 15th Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference. Concordia University, Montreal
Media Appearances and Guest Lectures:
- 2018 [Since 2012]. Annual lecture. “The Church of Satan and Western Esotericism,” History of Satan, L. DiTommaso, Concordia University, Montreal
- 2018 [Since 2011]. Biannual lecture (Spring and Fall). “Death and Dying in the Church of Satan,” Death and Dying in Religion, A. Koumouzelis, Marianopolis College, Montreal
- 2018. “New Religious Movements: Satanism,” New Religious Movements, S. Palmer, McGill University
- 2018. “Death in the Church of Satan,” Death and Dying, S. Palmer, Concordia University
- 2016. “Contemporary Religious Satanism,” Emergent Spiritualities, D. Webster, University of Gloucestershire, UK [Skype]
- 2016. Consultant on religious Satanism, “Believer,” hosted by Reza Aslan, CNN
- 2015. “Shemhamphorash! Magic and Materialism in the Church of Satan,” Forum Nidrosiae, M. Palmer, Trondheim, Norway
- 2015. Interview for, “‘You have taken them alive!’ Pig’s head in a pentagram left outside Montreal Police Brotherhood building,” by Postmedia News [Email]
- 2015. “Contemporary Religious Satanism,” Emergent Spiritualities, D. Webster, University of Gloucestershire, UK [Skype]
- 2014. “The Satanic Statue Controversy,” Philosophy and Religion Video Interviews, D. Webster, University of Gloucestershire, UK [Skype]
- 2014. “Research Methods: Satanism,” Research Methods, A. Koumouzelis, Marianopolis College, Montreal
- 2014. “Satanic Sexuality,” Sex and Religion, Dr. D. Boisvert, Concordia University, Montreal
- 2014. “Women in New Religious Movements,” Women in Religion, Annie Ross, Concordia University, Montreal
- 2013. “Death and Dying in the Church of Satan,” Death and Dying in Religion, B.J. Purdie, Concordia University
- 2013. Radio interview for, “Cued for Thought,” CJLO, 1690 a.m.
- 2013. Interviewed for, “The New Satanism: Less Lucifer, More Politics,” by Josh Sanburn, Time.com
- 2013. Guest speaker, “Six Sermons about Satan,” curated by Anthony Easton, VF Events
- 2012. “New Religious Movements,” Religions of the West, S. L. Turriff, Concordia University
- 2012. Radio interview with Tommy Schumacher on CJAD, 800 a.m.
- 2011. Quoted in, “Satan’s Favourite Time of Year,” by Karen Seidman, Montreal Gazette
- 2011. Radio interview, “Pourquoi pas dimanche?” Patrick Garneau, Radio-Canada
- 2011. Quoted in, “Satanism isn’t for devil worshippers,” Derek Abma, Post Media News
- 2011. Featured in, “How to Bury a Satanist,” Eric Marapodi, CNN.com
- 2011. Radio interview, “Nick at Night,” CJAD, 800 a.m.
- 2011. Television interview, “Newsmakers,” Mutsumi Takahashi, CTV News
- 2011. Featured in, “Sympathy for the Devil?” Beth Lewis, Concordia Now, producing international coverage of the Lewis article in various print and Internet media
- 2010. “Satanic Sexuality,” Sex and Religion, Dr. D. Boisvert, Concordia University
- 2009. “Satanism,” Religious Cults and Sects, Dr. S. Palmer, Dawson College
- 2008. The Church of Satan,” History of Satan, Dr. D. Boisvert, Concordia University
- Advanced English
- French written and spoken
- Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook)
- Open Journal Systems (OJS)
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, WordPress)
- Chicago Manual of Style
- Survey Monkey
- Editing and formatting
- Engaging with students
References available upon request.