I see the academic study of religion as an opportunity to investigate a wide range of human activities that I might otherwise take for granted. My published scholarship has focused on scriptures as cultural texts, the New Testament in Western imagination, the construction of race and identity in the United States, African American cultural history, and pedagogy in higher education.
My first monograph, Identifying Roots: Alex Haley and the Anthropology of Scriptures (Equinox 2020), redescribes the U.S. Bicentennial media spectacle as an example of the identity politics that go hand-in-hand with “scriptures.” I also present a theoretical vocabulary and grammar for explaining why some of the cultural texts that people read seem to read them back.
I’m currently working on two book projects. One is a primer on the critical study of scriptures that has taken place in the last thirty years. The other is a re-examination of key terms from the study of religion thoroughly informed by African American cultural history.
I count myself fortunate that my scholarship has been published in some of the leading journals in my discipline–such as Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, Religion & Theology, the Journal of Biblical Literature–as well as Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts and Contemporary Worlds, The Abeng: A Journal of Transdisciplinary Criticism, Teaching Theology & Religion and other major research publications in my subfield. You can find those descriptions and links to that work below.