J. Lorand Matory

Lawrence Richardson Professor of Cultural Anthropology

External Address: 
201C Friedl Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90091, Durham, NC 27708-0091
Phone: 
(919) 684-9923

Overview

Specialties

Anthropology & History, Africa, African Diaspora, Transnationalism

Research Summary

Anthropology of religion, of ethnicity, and of education; history and theory of anthropology; African and African-inspired religions around the Atlantic perimeter; ethnic diversity in the African-descended population of the US; tertiary education as a culture; gender, religion and politics; transnationalism; spirit possession

Research Description

J. Lorand Matory is the Director of the Sacred Arts of the Black Atlantic Project and the Lawrence Richardson Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. For six years, from 2009 until 2015, he also directed the University's Center for African and African American Research.  Professor Matory conducts field research in Brazil, Nigeria, Benin Republic, Cuba, Trinidad, Jamaica and the US. Choice magazine named his Sex and the Empire That Is No More: Gender and the Politics of Metaphor in Oyo Yoruba Religion an Outstanding Book of the Year in 1994, and his Black Atlantic Religion: Tradition, Transnationalism and Matriarchy in the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé received the Herskovits Prize for the best book of 2005 from the African Studies Association. His forthcoming research on ethnic diversity at historically black Howard University was the subject of the 2008 Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures and will be published by the University of Chicago Press as Stigma and Culture: Global Migrations and the Crisis of Identity in Black America. In 2013, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany awarded him the Alexander von Humboldt Prize, a lifetime achievement award that is one of Europe's highest academic distinctions.

Current Projects

Of the Race but above the Race: Stigma and the Schooling of Ethnic Identity in the "Mecca" of Black Education

Areas of Interest

spirit possession
African religions
African-diaspora religions
Afro-Atlantic religions
gender
transnationalism
African culture in the Americas
religion and politics

Media Appearances

Vodou and Other African Religions

Vodou and Other African-Inspired Religions

Vodou and Other African-Inspired Religions

Lucumi Music: Singing, Dancing and Drumming Black Divnity

"Global Affirmative Action in a Neoliberal Age"

 “Can We Talk?: Bridges between the Humanities and the Social Sciences”

 “Human Traffic: Past and Present”     

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago 1991

  • M.A., University of Chicago 1986

  • B.A., Harvard University 1982

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