Dr. Kate Kingsbury

Dr. Kate Kingsbury


Vancouver, British Columbia

Gendered Violence & Drug Violence Expert | Anthropology of Religion & Folk Healing Speaker

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Exploration Arcanum


Santa Muerte: Holy Death in the time of Coronavirus


Dr. Kate Kingsbury is an Anthropologist & LGBTQ Expert. Her expertise encompasses gender, Especially women, and the LGBTQ community’s religion and spirituality.

Dr. Kate Kingsbury is an Oxford University-educated trilingual anthropologist and an excellent speaker gave that her work involves lecturing to 80+ students daily. She also speaks every single month on podcasts, TV, and radio (CBC, Radio Canada) and she is cited in the press.

Dr. Kate Kingsbury, D.Phil. has lived in the UK, France, Belgium, and Senegal, moving to live permanently in Canada in 2017. More recently she spends much time in Mexico doing fieldwork. Dr. Kate Kingsbury received her B.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and an M.Phil and D.Phil in Anthropology from the University of Oxford.

Dr. Kate Kingsbury has taught at McMaster University, and at the University of Alberta, where she was an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and was awarded the Arts Instructor Teaching Award for her pedagogic achievements in 2020.

Dr. Kate Kingsbury is a recipient of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion’s Jack Shand Grant, and also received Bryan-Gruhn funding for her fieldwork on the fastest-growing new religious movement, the Mexican female folk saint of death, Santa Muerte.

Dr. Kate Kingsbury has published on the two titans of religion, Christianity, and Islam in their vernacular forms, and has written on magic, witchcraft, and ethnomedicine including folk healing, faith healing, and curanderismo.

Dr. Kate Kingsbury is a leading authority on Santa Muerte. Her current research on the female followers of Santa Muerte has led to her being a regular guest in the press, on podcasts, and as a consultant for media productions related to the folk saint, such as Hollywood films like Will Smith’s Bad Boys for Life.

Dr. Kate Kingsbury  latest research explores Santa Muerte veneration, particularly amongst women. She has spent time in Mexico doing fieldwork on Santa Muerte devotion, visiting local shrines, attending rituals and other events with devotees.

Santa Muerte, also known as the Skeleton Saint, Saint Death, or Holy Death, is a fierce, female, Mexican folk saint who personifies death, blending Catholic elements of faith with pre-Columbian, shamanic, Indigenous praxis. Dr. Kingsbury recently accepted a rather unusual assignment. She has been working for Will Smith’s production company, Overbrook Entertainment, to provide her expertise on Holy Death for Smith’s film, ‘Bad Boys for Life’ which is due to hit movie theatre screens in 2020.

It will feature Kate del Castillo as a Santa Muerte devotee. Dr. Kingsbury was asked to write parts of the script that featured Santa Muerte veneration scenes and make suggestions as to ritual actions typically performed. She was also asked to provide a Santa Muerte vengeance prayer which will be recited by Kate del Castillo during a Holy Death ritual.

Dr. Kingsbury was also requested to aid with set design for the Santa Muerte altar to be featured in the film. Dr. Kingsbury advised on what colours, motifs, oblations and other elements should be featured in a Saint Death shrine built by a devotee (Kate del Castillo in the film) for vengeance and death to enemies.


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Articles & Media

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Dr. Kate Kingsbury Topic Presentations

Anthropology of Religion

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training

Folk Healing

Ethnomedicine and Women

Looking at Santa Muerte Devotion By Women

Face of Death

Gendered Violence & Drug Violence

Poverty and Precarity in the Post-colony


Coming Soon!

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Dr. Kate Kingsbury Disclaimer

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When SBC receives a request to book Dr. Kate Kingsbury we provide you with their speaker fees, travel costs and check their schedules. We work closely with the host organization's event planning team and the speaker to handle the logistics and to relay or negotiate associated costs. Our talented team members then will work with our talent directly or their agent/manager/assistant to confirm the Canadian speaker fee and travel expenses, so that event planning teams can receive an official quote for the speaker appearing at the event. Speaker fees and travel costs vary per speaker and our role is to contact Dr. Kate Kingsbury about your event, after we have connected with the event organizers to learn all the event details and/or conference program. Each booking request is unique since session durations and audience sizes can vary which may affect the speaker's fees. If you are looking to hire Dr. Kate Kingsbury, we recommend filling out the booking request form so a booking agent from Speakers Bureau Canada can get in touch with our talent to help you coordinate with your team to engage the speaker for a successful event.



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