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J. Lorand Matory, Professor of African and African American Studies and Professor of Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

J. Lorand Matory
Contact Info:
Office Location:  201 Friedl Building
Office Phone:  (919) 684-9923
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2019):

  • AAAS 347S.01, WHITE PEOPLE Synopsis
    Friedl Bdg 204, Th 03:05 PM-05:35 PM
    (also cross-listed as CULANTH 305S.01, HISTORY 385S.01, RIGHTS 305S.01)
  • AAAS 610S.01, AFRICA, CUBA, BRAZIL Synopsis
    Bivins 109, Tu 01:25 PM-03:55 PM
    (also cross-listed as CULANTH 610S.01, HISTORY 610S.01, ROMST 522S.01)
Office Hours:

Tuesday & Wednesday - 2:00-3:00pm

Ph.D.University of Chicago1991
M.A.University of Chicago1986
B.A. Harvard University1982

Anthropology & History
African Diaspora
Research Interests: Cultural anthropology of Africa and the African diaspora; African-inspired religions; transnationalism and the dynamism of ethnic identities; Black Ethnic Diversity in the US; the Culture of Higher Education

Current projects: Film--"Orisha: A New World Religion", Museum Exhibition--"Sacred Arts of the Black Atlantic", Book--"Stigma and Culture: Last-Place Anxiety in Black America"

J. Lorand Matory is the Director of the Center for African and African American Research and Lawrence Richardson Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. He 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 in fall 2015 by the University of Chicago Press as Stigma and Culture: Last-Place Anxiety 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.

Areas of Interest:

Latin America


Africa • African Americans • African diaspora • Anthropology • Art, African • Brazil • Caribbean Americans • Cuba • Emigration and Immigration • Ethnicity • Freedom • Gender • Gullahs • Haiti • Immigrants • Latin Americans • Memory • Nigeria • Orisha religion • Race • Religion • Sacrifice • Santeria • Slavery • Spirit possession • Spirit Possseion • Sweden • Transnationalism

Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Brian Smithson  
  • Kwame Z. Shabazz  
  • Megwen Loveless  
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Matory, JL, The Fetish Revisited: Marx, Freud, and the Gods Black People Make (October, 2018), pp. 384 pages, Duke University Press, ISBN 1478002433  [abs]
  2. Apter, A, Oduduwa’s Chain: Locations of Culture in the Yoruba-Atlantic, African and Black Diaspora: an International Journa (August, 2018), pp. 1-5
  3. Matory, JL, Collecting and Exhibiting at the Crossroads: In Honor of Eshu, Material Religion, vol. 12 no. 3 (September, 2016), pp. 378-380, Routledge [doi]
  4. Matory, JL, Watering the Flowers While Black, News & Observer (Raleigh, Nc) (July, 2016) [147A07C639CCFB58]
  5. Matory, JL, In-Depth Review--The Formation of Candomble: Vodun History and Ritual in Brazil, by Luis Nicolau Pares, The Americas: a Quarterly Review of Latin American History, vol. 72 no. 04 (October, 2015), pp. 609-628 [repository]  [abs]

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