research directory

cultural anthropology, Religious Studies

Mellquist Lehto, Heather

Tempe | United States
Researchers Website


Heather Mellquist Lehto is a cultural anthropologist focusing on religion, technology, and social relations in South Korea and the United States.

Her book manuscript, Holy Infrastructure: The Multisite Church Revolution in South Korea and the United States, explores the coordination of technological and religious innovation in transnational Korean churches.

Her current research project explores the sociocultural significance of skin, as it constitutes the boundary of one’s body as well as a medium for relation to others. Focusing on the MERS and Covid-19 outbreaks in South Korea from 2015-present, this project shows how conceptions of the skin are informed by the competing claims of public health projects, religious traditions, conceptions of race, and global cosmetics industries.

Currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Arizona State University, her work has been published in the Journal of Korean Studies, Somatosphere, Acta Koreana, and Anthropology News, and on the radio program PRI’s The World. Heather holds a PhD in anthropology, with a PhD minor in science and technology studies, from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s in religious studies from Harvard University.

You can follow Heather on Twitter: @mellquistlehto