African and African Diaspora Religions

Faculty: Ashon Crawley, Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton, Jalane Schmidt

This program supports the study of a wide array of religions in Africa and the African Diaspora. Students may focus on African indigenous religions, African Christian or Muslim traditions and cultures, or Afro-creole religions such as Santeria, Candomblé or Vodou. Students receive interdisciplinary training, with an emphasis on historical and ethnographic methods, in preparation for nine months of dissertation research in Africa, the Caribbean or Latin America. Students must demonstrate facility in the lingua franca of the region where they intend to conduct fieldwork, in addition to whatever vernacular may be required to execute their project. Faculty in this program bring expertise in independent churches, prophetic movements and the history of Islam in 20th-century East Africa, as well as Afro-Caribbean religions, ritual studies, Catholicism and Cuban Spiritism.