Associate Professor of African American Studies and Religious Studies
Department of African American and Department of Religious Studies
Office: Crowe Hall, 1860 Campus Drive, 5-117
Office Hours: Tuesdays 2pm to 3pm, and by appointment (Spring 2013)
I am currently writing a history of colonialism and African American religions. This book project examines the complicated relationship between black religions and colonialism as a historic and on-going American phenomenon both within and beyond US borders. My research for this book draws on archival and theoretical sources about black religions within the context of repressive American governmentality from the surveillance and suppression of African religions under white settler colonialism to the explicitly murderous Counter-Intelligence Program of the Department of Justice in the twentieth century, which targeted African American religions that opposed white racist rule. I draw on the data about African American religions to inform an elaborate argument about the nature of freedom and democracy in their historical manifestation as pillars of an American empire. Because these religions emerged under the sign of freedom, they offer especially valuable insight into the linkages between brutality and the democratic freedom so integral to the modern American nation-state.
Colonialism and African American Religions, 1500-2000 (in progress).
The Myth of Ham in Nineteenth-Century American Christianity: Race, Heathens, and the People of God. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004
“Colonialism, Biblical World-Making, and Temporalities in Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative,” Church History 77 (2008): 1003-1024
“Religion Proper and Proper Religion : Arthur Fauset and the Study of African American Religions,” in The New Black Gods : Arthur Huff Fauset and the study of African American Religions, ed. Edward Curtis IV and Danielle Sigler (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009)
"Tribalism and Religion in the Work of Richard Wright,” Literature and Theology 20, no. 2 (2006): 171–188.
"New Israel, New Canaan: The Bible, the People of God, and the American Holocaust,” Union Seminary Quarterly Review 59, nos. 1-2 (2005): 25-39.