African American Religious History

Due Date: 10-31-2022

African American religious history is a vibrant field with a historiographical lineage dating back to the late nineteenth century, and its genealogy transcends the geographical borders of the United States. From W. E. B. Du Bois’s and Carter G. Woodson’s reflections on “the Negro church” to Zora Neale Hurston’s ethnographic fieldwork on Southern and Caribbean Black religions to Katherine Dunham’s capturing of Vodou and Orisa communities and their diasporic religious performances and aesthetics, scholars in the field have long employed interdisciplinary and transatlantic methods to chronicle the plethora of Black religions and Black religious experiences in the Americas. This volume seeks papers that contribute to the field’s scholarly legacy and contend with its future.

Equally important, African American religious history is a field of study shaped by the historical experiences and preoccupations of African-descended people in the United States, but not arbitrarily limited by the ideological confines and geographical borders of the US nation-state as a colonial empire. Consequently, the editors seek essays that trouble the multiple, complex, and shifting meanings of “African American” “religious” “history,” through innovative and critical approaches to the study of the religions of Black people in and from the United States, its colonial territories, and within the African Atlantic world. The editors welcome essays that analyze the spectrum of religious innovations, practices, beliefs, theologies, performances, politics, and institutions among Africans and their American descendants from the fifteenth century to the contemporary period. The project’s emphasis on interrogating the boundaries of African American religious history as a scholarly field and historical phenomenon also yields a particular interest in work that models or posits new or creative theories and methods of study.

Send an abstract of no more than 500 words and an abridged CV to by 31 October 2022.

Authors will be notified of decisions by December 2022.

If accepted, the due date for completed drafts (of no more than 35 typed, double-spaced pages, including footnotes) will be 30 December 2023.

Accepted authors will also be expected to participate in an in-person collaborative revision workshop to be scheduled later.

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