ASWAD IG Live Book Series, Sept 22 and Oct 6

Instagram Live Book Series

Sept. 22, 12 pm

Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, The Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic by Erika Edwards

October 6, 12 pm

Female Monarchs and Merchant Queens in Africa by Nwando Achebe

Check Out ASWAD’s Latest Webinars on Our YouTube Page. Be Sure to Subscribe for Updates:

Police Violence in the Global Black Community

Featuring Luciana Brito, Manoucheka Celeste, Sandy Hudson, Mame-Fatou and Niang. Moderated by Christen Smith.

Covid-19 and the African Diaspora Parts 1 & 2

Featuring Luciana Brito, Ugo Edu, Julius Fobil, Aaron Kamugisha, Angelique Nixon, Nicole Phillip-Dowe, and Maboula Soumahoro. Moderated by Michael A. Gomez.

Bedasse, Boaz, & Carter Join Journal of Africana Religions Editorial Team

For Immediate Release
September 2, 2020

Monique Bedasse, Danielle Boaz, and Youssef Carter To Edit ASWAD Co-Sponsored Journal of Africana Religions

Indianapolis, Ind.— September 2, 2020The Journal of Africana Religions, which is co-sponsored by ASWAD, has announced that Professors Monique Bedasse, Danielle Boaz, and Youssef Carter will join Edward Curtis and Sylvester Johnson as general co-editors.

“These three brilliant and accomplished scholars model the journal’s scholarly focus on the global reach and transnational significance of African and African diasporic religions,” said Drs. Curtis and Johnson, who founded the journal in 2011. “The future of the journal is even brighter today.”

Profs. Bedasse, Boaz, and Carter, along with Curtis and Johnson, will oversee the peer review of submissions, select topics for future special issues, and bolster the journal’s outreach to readers and contributors. The journal’s other key personnel include book review editor Dr. S. N. Nyeck and managing editor Dr. Jeremy Rehwaldt.

Dr. Monique Bedasse is associate professor of history and of African and African-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research on Africa and the African diaspora moves betwixt and between regions that have traditionally been calcified into separate fields of study. Bedasse’s first book, Jah Kingdom: Rastafarians, Tanzania, and Pan-Africanism in the Age of Decolonization (UNC Press, 2017) won the American Historical Association’s Wesley-Logan Prize for best book on the African Diaspora as well as the Anna Julia Cooper and CLR James Award for best book in Africana Studies from the National Council for Black Studies.

Dr. Danielle Boaz, assistant professor of Africana studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, is an historian of Africa and the African diaspora and a legal studies scholar. Her first book, Banning Black Gods: African Diaspora Religions and the Law in the 21st Century (Penn State University Press, forthcoming), examines the legal persecution of followers of Africana religions such as Candomblé, Obeah, Lukumí, Rastafari, and Vodou in a variety of nations. In addition, she partners with grassroots activists and scholars to document acts of religious racism in Brazil.

Dr. Youssef Carter, assistant professor of religious studies and Kenan Rifai Fellow in Islamic studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is an anthropologist of religion. He is currently at work on a book manuscript entitled “The Vast Oceans: Remembering God and Self on the Mustafawi Sufi Path,” a multisite ethnography of a transatlantic spiritual network of African American and West African Sufi Muslims. Dr. Carter also leads the editorial team at the online magazine, Voyages Africana Journal, a visual and literary space that serves as a creative educational and cultural tool for students and lovers of the Africana World.


About the Journal

This peer-reviewed journal published semi-annually by the Penn State University Press offers critical analysis of Africana religions, including the religious traditions of African and African Diasporic peoples as well as religious traditions influenced by the diverse cultural heritage of Africa. ASWAD member receive a complimentary subscription to the journal via JSTOR.

For more information, go to or write to

In Solidarity, A Message from ASWAD

Dear ASWAD Family,

As COVID-19 continues to ravage the world, we hope and pray that you, your family and all loved ones are safe and healthy during these increasingly perilous times. We know too well that all over the world, ongoing racial and economic inequalities explain why COVID-19 kills people of color in highly disproportionate numbers. Black and brown people cannot always take protective social distancing measures while (more…)

Thabiti Willis Receives Prestigious Mellon New Directions Fellowship to Unearth New Understanding of the Histories of Bahrain Communities in the Gulf Region

Thabiti WillisThabiti WillisAssociate Professor of History and Director of Africana Studies, has been awarded the prestigious New Directions Fellowship from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Fellowship will support Willis’ three-year research project, “Slaves and Singers: Race, Work and Heritage in a Gulf Country.” The substantial fellowship, in the amount of $300,000, will enable Willis to address social, cultural, and historical factors that shaped the experiences of Africans and their descendants in the Indian Ocean World, and their place in contemporary public depictions of the history of the Gulf states. The funding primarily supports summer and sabbatical leave time, along with fellow’s training programs. (more…)

ASWAD Founding Director Wins ASA Book Prize

ASWAD’s founding director, Michael A. Gomez, was awarded the 2019 African Studies Association Book Prize for African Dominion: A New History of Empire in Early and Medieval West Africa (Princeton University Press).

ASWAD member John Thabiti Willis received honorable mention for the prize for Masquerading Politics: Kinship, Gender, and Ethnicity in Yoruba Town (Indiana University Press.

Congrats to you both!

ASWAD 2019 Book and Article Prizes

The ASWAD Sterling Stuckey Book Prize

For a second or subsequent book by a senior scholar
Jorge L. Giovannetti-Torres, Black British Migrants in Cuba: Race, Labor, and Empire in the Twentieth-Century Caribbean, 1898-1948 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Finalist: Martha S. Jones, Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018)

The ASWAD Outstanding First Book Prize

Oscar de la Torre, People of the River: Nature and Identity in Black Amazonia, 1835-1945 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2018)

Finalist: Yuko Miki, Frontiers of Citizenship: A Black and Indigenous History of Postcolonial Brazil (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018)

The ASWAD Outstanding Article Prize

Sara E. Johnson, “‘Your Mother Gave Birth to a Pig’: Power, Abuse, and Planter Linguistics in Baudry des Lozières’s Vocabulaire Congo,Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 16.1 (2018): 7-40.


Click Here for the Results

ASWAD Statement Post-Election in the United States

Over the past two weeks, in the aftermath of a hotly contested presidential election, a wave of racist and xenophobic attacks has swept across the United States. In elementary and middle schools, young Latino/a children are taunted with chants of “Build the Wall” and “Go Back to Mexico.” At universities, similar jeers taunt our Black and Brown students, as students and others who are aligned with the White supremacist rhetoric of the U.S. president-elect feel they have gotten a “green light” to (more…)

ASWAD Statement on the Charleston Shootings

ASWAD extends its condolences to the families of those massacred at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church on June 17, 2015 in a criminal act of domestic terrorism.  We share in the pain of all who are suffering, but also in the outrage that anti-black violence continues to erupt in societies that continue to cling to the ideologies of racial supremacy, inequality, and ignorance that constituted the very foundations on which they were built.  (more…)