Spectacle of Toleration Steering Committee

Christopher J. Beneke, Bentley University

Associate Professor, History
Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2001
BA, Cornell University, 1994
Research interests include: American Religious History; American Intellectual History; Colonial North America; History of Integration in the United States; History of Religious Pluralism in the United States; History of Education in the United States. Publications include: Beneke, C. J, Grenda, C. S. (2010). The First Prejudice: Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Early America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, and Beneke, C. J. (2008). Beyond Toleration: The Religious Origins of American Pluralism. New York: Oxford University Press.

Daniel Cowdin, Salve Regina University

Associate Professor, Religious and Theological Studies
B.A. in religious studies, Stanford University (1983)
M.A. in philosophy, concentration in ethics, Colorado State University (1986)
Ph.D. in religious studies, concentration in ethics, Yale University (1991)
Research interests include: the intersection of religious, ethical and social issues. Examples include how religion and morality connect up with things like environmental concerns and biomedical issues, or the way in which advancing technology poses ethical and spiritual problems for human beings.

Linford Fisher, Brown University

Assistant Professor of History
Ph. D. in history, Harvard University (2008)
Professor Fisher’s fields of research are colonial America, the Atlantic World, American Indians (especially the contact period through the end of the eighteenth century), material culture, the history of slavery, and the history of religion in America. His current research centers on the various kinds of servitude and enslavement of Indians and Africans in New England and the Atlantic world. Professor Fisher’s first book, The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America, was published by Oxford University Press in May 2012.

C. Morgan Grefe, Rhode Island Historical Society

Executive Director
C. Morgan Grefe, Ph. D. is the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Society.  Her work as a historian focuses on U.S. social, cultural and architectural history, with a special focus on public history and Rhode Island.  Although not originally from Rhode Island, she has made this her home for thirteen years and continues to be enchanted by the state and its history.  She holds Ph.D. in American civilization from Brown University and a Bachelors and Masters from the University of Pennsylvania in American Civilization and Material Culture.

James M. Ludes, Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy, Salve Regina University

Ph.D. in history, Georgetown University (2003)
Editor of, and contributor to, “Iraq Uncensored” (2009) and co-editor of two previous books: “Attacking Terrorism” (2004) and “Twenty-First Century Proliferation” (2001).

Timothy Neary, Salve Regina University

Associate Professor of American Studies and History
A.B. in American studies, Georgetown University (1993)
M.A. in U.S. history, Loyola University Chicago (1997)
Ph.D. in U.S. history, Loyola University Chicago (2004)

Margot Nishimura, The John Carter Brown Library, Brown University

Deputy Director and Librarian
M.A.; Ph.D. New York University

Ruth Taylor, Newport Historical Society

Executive Director
B.A. in anthropology University of Massachusetts
M.A. Museum Education, Bank Street College

Ken Yellis,  Project Development Services

B.A., History, Antioch College
M.A., Ph.D. (a.b.d.), History, University of Rochester
M.P.A., George Washington University
As Assistant Director of the Touro Synagogue Foundation, he drafted the script for the opening exhibition of The Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. Visitors Center at Touro Synagogue (2008). Currently, Ken is Project Coordinator for “The Spectacle of Toleration,” Guest Curator for Journeys Through the Fire: Jews in the American Civil War (Center for Jewish History, March 2013), and a member of Rhode Island’s King Charles II Charter 350th Anniversary Commission.