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Joseph R. Winters, Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies

Joseph R. Winters

Joseph Winters is the Alexander F. Hehmeyer Associate Professor of Religious Studies and African and African American Studies. He also holds secondary positions in English and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. His interests lie at the intersection of black religious thought, African-American literature, and critical theory. Overall, his project expands conventional understandings of black religiosity and black piety by drawing on resources from Af-Am literature, philosophy, and critical theory. His research examines how literature, film, and music (especially hip hop) can reconfigure our sense of the sacred and imagination of spirituality. 

Winters' first book, Hope Draped in Black: Race, Melancholy, and the Agony of Progress (Duke University Press, June 2016) examines how black literature and aesthetic practices challenge post-racial fantasies and triumphant accounts of freedom. The book shows how authors like WEB Du Bois and Toni Morrison link hope and possibility to melancholy, remembrance, and a recalcitrant sense of the tragic. His second book project (under contract with Duke University Press) is called Disturbing Profanity: Hip Hop, Black Aesthetics, and the Volatile Sacred.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  710 Sidepark Street, Durham, NC 27703
Office Phone:  (919) 423-1911
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2019):

  • RELIGION 190FS.01, FOCUS SEMINARS (TOP) Synopsis
    Crowell 107, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
    (also cross-listed as AAAS 190FS.01, ENGLISH 190FS-2.02, POLSCI 190FS.01)
  • AAAS 503S.01, MOMENTS IN BLACK THEORY Synopsis
    Soc/Psych 248, Tu 03:05 PM-05:35 PM
    (also cross-listed as CULANTH 503S.01, ICS 504S.01, POLSCI 589S.01, RELIGION 503S.01)
Education:

Ph.D.Princeton University2009
B.A. Harvard University1999
Specialties:

Religion
Culture
American Religious History
Research Interests: Religion and Critical Theory; African American Religious Thought; African American Literature; Continental Philosophy

Current projects: I am currently starting a project on hip hop, religion, and literature.

My research interests lie at the intersection of modern religious thought, African American religious thought, and critical theory. My work contributes to recent endeavors to re-imagine and expand our understanding of black religion, black piety, and black cultural practices. Using a dialogical approach, I examine black religious and literary thought in conversation with critical theory and continental philosophy. My research also draws from theories and approaches to religious studies. My first book, Hope Draped in Black: Race, Melancholy, and the Agony of Progress (Duke UP, 2016) challenges racial progress narratives by examining the relationship between remembrance, loss, and hope in black literature and aesthetic practices.

Areas of Interest:

Religion and Critical Theory
African American Religious Thought
African American Literature
Continental philosophy of religion

Curriculum Vitae


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