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J. Lorand Matory, Lawrence Richardson Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Center for African and African American Research and Professor of African and African American Studies and Professor of Religious Studies

J. Lorand Matory

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 Lawrence Richardson Professor of Cultural Anthropology and the Director of the Sacred Arts of the Black Atlantic Project at Duke University.

The author of three books and more than 50 articles and reviews, he is also the executive producer and screenwriter of five documentary films. Choice magazine named his Sex and the Empire That Is No More: Gender and the Politics of Metaphor in Ọyọ Yoruba Religion an outstanding book of the year in 1994, and his Black Atlantic Religion: Tradition, Transnationalism, and Matriarchy in the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé won the Herskovits Prize from the African Studies Association for the best book of 2005.  In 2010, he received the Distinguished Africanist Award from the American Anthropological Association, and, 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.  Professor Matory was also selected to deliver anthropology’s most prestigious annual address, the Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture, which resulted in the book Stigma and Culture: Last-Place Anxiety in Black America (2015), concerning the competitive and hierarchical nature of ethnic identity-formation.  His latest book, The “Fetish” Revisited: Marx, Freud and the Gods Black People Make, will be published by Duke University Press in 2018.

Professor Matory is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Chicago, and he has conducted 35 years of intensive research on the great religions of the Black Atlantic—West African Yoruba religion, West-Central African Kongo religion, Brazilian Candomblé, Cuban Santería/Ocha, and Haitian Vodou.  In recognition of his outstanding scholarship, he also served, from 2009 to 2013, as the James P. Marsh Professor at Large at the University of Vermont, one of that University’s highest honors.

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”     

Contact Info:
Office Location:  201C Friedl Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 684-9923
Email Address: send me a message
Web Pages:  http://caaar.duke.edu/about
https://duke.box.com/s/1ah1as5jh1b1do3vjzcgx19aje924don

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:

By appointment.
Education:

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

Anthropology & History
Africa
African Diaspora
Transnationalism
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:

Africa
Latin America
Caribbean
US

Keywords:

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

Curriculum Vitae  Bio
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]

Films

Executive Producer, “Human Traffic: Past and Present” (2012).  Center for African and African American Research at Duke University.  http://caaar.duke.edu/lecture-series/conferences

Executive Producer, “Can We Talk? Bridges between the Humanities and the Social Sciences” (2012).  Center for African and African American Research at Duke University. http://caaar.duke.edu/lecture-series/conferences


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