Nathan E. Fleeson, Ph.D.

Educating and Mentoring Students in Higher Education

Photo by Dallas Anne Duncan,


Nathan E. Fleeson (he/him) recently finished his Ph.D. at the University of Georgia in Arts, Literature, and Religion, with a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies. His work explores how people use art and literature to imaginatively explore personal identity and their connection to others.

While a graduate student instructor at UGA, Nathan became passionate about supporting students to reflect on how they structured their education and its importance for becoming global-citizens and life-long learners. He often incorporated opportunities for reflection as part of his course structure, and is now seeking opportunities to do this work in more intentional ways through instructional design/development or student support.

Recent Updates

Professional Development: Duke University Continuing Studies, Certificate in Online Learning

This was a self-paced, online certificate program that offers an introduction to digital learning. This included going over key terms, introducing best practices, highlighting challenges, and outlining disability accessibility. One of the most beneficial elements of the certificate was hearing more from professionals about how they approached incorporating digital learning into their classrooms, including specific examples and techniques. For instance, there was an element about how to incorporate activities into Zoom synchronous sessions that resonated with activities I have used from the "Humanities Moments" workshop. I also appreciated the focus on formative assessments and how to use digital learning as a pathway to create adaptive formative assessments. Another element of the course that I found valuable was its early introduction to major theories of pedagogy and andragogy. While I was unconsciously using much of the techniques advocated by learning theory, it was very empowering to see several of my approaches supported by the research.

Forthcoming Article: "Creating Imaginative Pauses with Sin: The Queer Theological Aesthetics of Oscar Wilde and Paul Cadmus"

I recently had an article accepted for publication exploring how Oscar Wilde and Paul Cadmus both utilize their art to renegotiate how we imagine our relationship to sin within Catholicism. This article draws attention to resonances between their approaches by presenting a Wildean queer theological aesthetic as a framework to interpret Cadmus’s art. A Wildean framework utilizes the excesses of both Catholicism and queerness as a foil for each other to create pauses for the imagination in a culture and religious tradition that risks falling into mechanization. In the space of that excess, we are allowed to escape the trap of existence to live as Individuals, claiming sin as an excess that offers an imaginative pause out of mere existence. Applied to Cadmus, a Wildean framework focuses on how Cadmus’s works also engages queer and Catholic excess to renegotiate Catholic guilt around the body and instead see the body and its sin as a site to know the Self. The article will be published sometime in 2024 in Religion and the Arts.

Paul Cadmus, The Fleet's In! Tempera on Canvas, 1934. Naval History and Heritage Command, 34-005-A.

Recent Publication: "'Not Built as a Shrine, but as a Sacred Space': The Devotional Nature of Museums Dedicated to Candidates for Sainthood"

My article, "'Not Built as a Shrine, but as a Sacred Space': The Devotional Nature of Museums Dedicated to Candidates for Sainthood" was recently published by Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief. This article explores how saint guilds use museum practices and terminology to construct devotional spaces around candidates for sainthood, without officially establishing a saint cult. Since the establishment of a cult can jeopardize the canonization process, I argue that the language of museums offers a natural alternative to create private devotional spaces that remain separate from official Church practices. If you are interested in reading this piece, the journal offers a limited number of free eprints on new articles that you can access here.