Recipient, Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching
Recipient, The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award (2014)
Leonard Norman Primiano, PhD, came to Cabrini’s Religious Studies department in 1993 with a foundation in religious studies and folklore and folklife studies, and a desire to teach courses on the history of Christianity, vernacular religion, religious folklife, contemporary moral problems, and contemporary American religion.
Throughout his years at the College, he has dedicated himself to teaching students about the relationship of these exciting fields.
In 1999, he received the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award from Cabrini.
In 2014, Primiano was awarded The Kennedy Center / Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award.
Primiano serves as co-producer of “The Father Divine Project,” a multimedia documentary and video podcast about Father Divine, Mother Divine, and the Peace Mission Movement.
He has served as the developer and curator of Cabrini’s Religious Folk, Popular, Liturgical Arts Collection since its inception in 2002.
In September 2014, he curated at Cabrini College’s Gorevin Gallery the exhibition of his personal collection of Italian ex-voto paintings, “Graces Received: Painted and Metal Ex-Votos from Italy.”
A December 2011 publication about this exhibition contains his essay: “Catholiciana Unmoored: Ex-Votos in Catholic Tradition and their Commercialization as Religious Commodities.”
Academic honors include selection in 2010 for the American Folklore Society/Mellon Foundation sponsored program and book series, “Folklore Studies in a Multicultural World,” supporting the development and publication of his upcoming monograph, “God’s Paintings in Wool: The Vernacular Religious Art of Sister Ann Ameen by the University of Illinois Press.”
Primiano was named in the 2014–15 academic year a Regional Faculty Fellow in the Andrew W. Mellon Research Seminar on Color within the Penn Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania.
Primiano was elected a Fellow of the American Folklore Society in November 2014. He had served a three-year term on the Society’s Executive Board from 2011 to 2013. He is the co-chair of the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife chapter of the society.
Recent public papers and lectures include: the October 2013 panel “Why Do We Need Saints” at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Calif.
In July 2015, Primiano traveled to Zagreb, Croatia, to deliver a paper, “A World Set Apart”: The Emergence and Sustenance of Utopian Space Through Expressive Culture,” at the meeting of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) in Zagreb, Croatia.
His “Ethnological Sensation,” taken from an interview at the meeting in Zagreb, recently appeared on the SIEF web site.
In the 2015–16 academic year, Primiano:
His research areas include American religion; vernacular, folk, and popular religion; American folklore and folklife studies; religious material culture (including Roman Catholic “holy cards”); and religion and the media, including Catholicism and television.
Recent and upcoming publications include:
Primiano earned a dual doctorate in religious studies and folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a master of theological studies from Harvard University.
He received a master’s in folklore and folklife and a bachelor’s in religious studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Contact Information Leonard Primiano, PhDChair and Professor, Religious Studies Co-Director, Honors Program Grace Hall, Room 250610-902-8330Fax: firstname.lastname@example.org