Matthew Hedstrom headshot

Matthew Sigurd Hedstrom

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Religious Studies
Office location and address
Gibson Hall, S-013
1540 Jefferson Park Ave
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
BA, Haverford College
MA, University of Texas at Austin
PhD in American Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Intersections of Buddhism and Psychology: an Ethnographic Study of Contextual Factors and Contemplative Practices in Bhutan
Source: Mind and Life Institute
July 01, 2018 – June 30, 2020
COLA 1500: College Advising Seminars
Credits: 1
COLA courses are 1-credit seminars capped at 18 first-year students, all of whom are assigned to the instructor as advisees. They are topically focused on an area identified by the faculty member; they also include a significant advising component centered on undergraduate issues (e.g., choosing a major, study abroad opportunities, undergraduate research, etc.). For detailed descriptions see
AMST 2001: Introduction to American Studies
Credits: 3
This course introduces students to American Studies, the interdisciplinary study of US culture. Students will be exposed to the three main categories of American Studies methods, historical analysis, close analysis, and fieldwork and to a broad variety of cultural forms, including films, photographs, music, sermons, journalism, fiction, speeches, court decisions, government documents, and web-based materials including social media sites.
RELG 2660: Spiritual But Not Religious: Spirituality in America
Credits: 3
This course asks: what does "spiritual but not religious" mean, and why has it become such a pervasive idea in modern America? We'll study everything from AA to yoga to Zen meditation, with stops in Christian rock, Beat poetry, Abstract Expressionist painting and more. In the end, we'll come to see spirituality in America as a complex intermingling of the great world religions, modern psychology, and a crassly commercialized culture industry.
AMST 4500: Fourth-Year Seminar in American Studies
Credits: 3
This seminar is intended to focus study, research, and discussion on a single period, topic, or issue, such as the Great Awakening, the Civil War, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression, or the 1960s. Topics vary.
AMST 4998: Distinguished Majors Program Thesis Research
Credits: 3
Students spend the fall semester of their 4th years working closely with a faculty advisor to conduct research and begin writing their Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) thesis.
AMST 4999: Distinguished Majors Thesis Seminar
Credits: 3
This workshop is for American Studies majors who have been admitted to the DMP program. Students will discuss the progress of their own and each other's papers, with particular attention to the research and writing processes. At the instructor's discretion, students will also read key works in the field of American Studies. Prerequisites: admission to DMP.
RELC 5559: New Course in Christianity
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject of Christianity
RELG 8400: Historiography Seminar in American Religion
Credits: 3
Examines current historiographical issues in the interpretation of religion in American history. Prerequisite: instructor permission.
RELG 8723: Tutorial in American Spirituality
Credits: 3
What is "spirituality" and why has it become such a pervasive term in contemporary American culture? This course explores this question through historical interrogation of the category and its development since the early nineteenth century. The encounter of historic religious traditions, especially Protestant Christianity, with the intellectual, cultural, economic, and social currents of modernity will form the larger background for our analysis.
RELG 8732: Tutorial in Religion and Nationalism
Credits: 3
The course supports advanced graduate students researching topics in the field of religion and politics, particularly in North America, with a particular focus on the intersecting arenas of religion and nationalism as they have developed from the late 18th century to the present. The readings will be historiographical in nature, and the course will culminate in a substantial writing project--either a historiographical essay or primary research.
RELS 8998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.
RELS 8999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For master's thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.
RELS 9998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
MUSI 9998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Credits: 1–12
Preliminary research directed towards a dissertation in consultation with an instructor. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
RELS 9999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.