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Alexis S. Wells-Oghoghomeh

Research

I am a historian of African-American religion, with a primary interest in the sacred cultures of enslaved people in the United States South. My teaching and research explore religious exchanges and productions within the African Atlantic, colonial and antebellum southern cultures, the religiosity of race in the U.S., and women’s religious histories.

I am interested in religion and the body, specifically the ways modes and experiences of embodiment—such as race, gender, and enslavement—have shaped religious consciousness in the U.S. American context. My forthcoming book project explores female-centered sacred cultures among enslaved Africans and African-Americans in the Lower South from the colonial period to the onset of the Civil War.  Through an examination of enslaved women’s religious experiences, the study proposes an alternative methodological and spatio-temporal approach to the examination of enslaved religiosity, with implications for the future deployment of the “slave religion” category in scholarship on African-American religion. In this way, my research not only situates enslaved people’s sacred cultures as Africana religious formations, but also proffers a gendered phenomenology of Black religious consciousness.