Nabhan-Warren named V. O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Chair in Catholic Studies

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Goddard, Fuentes, Nabhan-Warren, Curto
Dean Steve Goddard, Provost and Executive Vice President
Montserrat Fuentes, Professor Kristy Nabhan-Warren, and
Executive Associate Dean Raúl Curto

In an investiture ceremony in the Old Capitol Museum Senate Chamber on September 23, the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences celebrated the appointment of Professor Kristy Nabhan-Warren to the V.O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Chair in Catholic Studies.

Nabhan-Warren is the inaugural holder of the chair, established by a gift from the V.O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Charitable Foundation of Davenport, Iowa, to support Catholic studies in the Department of Religious Studies. The Figges, both deceased, were prominent philanthropists in the community, and V. O. Figge was Chairman of Davenport Bank and Trust for more than 60 years before his retirement in 1991. The gift was made to the University of Iowa Foundation, now known as the UI Center for Advancement. 

Dean Steve Goddard of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences said Nabhan-Warren's appointment by the University of Iowa is recognition of her excellence as a scholar and educator.

"Professor Nabhan-Warren is a leading voice in Catholic studies and an outstanding teacher," said Goddard. "Holding the Figge Chair will enhance her impact on her discipline—and on the students she teaches and mentors—and I congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition."

Kristy Nabhan-Warren is Professor of Religious Studies with a joint appointment in Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies and the inaugural V.O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Chair in Catholic Studies. She has presented numerous invited talks throughout the country and internationally, and is the author of The Virgin of El Barrio: Marian Apparitions, Catholic Evangelizing, and Mexican American Activism (New York University Press, 2005); Cursillos in America: Catholics, Protestants and Fourth Day Spirituality (The University of North Carolina Press, 2013); and Américan Woman: The Virgin of Guadalupe, Latinos/as and Accompaniment (Loyola Marymount University Press, March 2018). Her forthcoming book is titled Cornbelt America: How Immigrants, Work, and Faith in the Rural Midwest are Remaking the United States (to be published with University of North Carolina Press) and she is the creator and Series Editor of a new book series, Where Religion Lives, with the University of North Carolina Press. She earned her PhD from Indiana University in 2001, and joined the University of Iowa faculty in 2012.


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.