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Judith Weisenfeld

Judith Weisenfeld (Leadership Team, Project Cycle II) is Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor of Religion at Princeton University, where is Associate Faculty in the Department of African American Studies and the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her research focuses on early twentieth-century African American and American religious history, and she has been especially interested in the relation of religion to constructions of race, the impact on black religious life of migration, immigration, and urbanization, African American women's religious history, and religion in film and popular culture. Her publications include African American Women and Christian Activism: New York’s Black YWCA, 1905-1945 (Harvard 1997) and Hollywood Be Thy Name: African American Religion in American Film, 1929-1950 (California 2007).

She has recently completed Apostles of Race: Religion and Black Racial Identity in the Urban North, supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, which will be published by New York University Press in 2017. The book is a study of the individual and social experiences of early 20thcentury blacks in the urban North – migrants from the South and immigrants from the Caribbean – who embraced the new understandings of black racial identity promoted by the founders and leaders of a group of newly-founded religious movements. Focusing on a number of Ethiopian Hebrew congregations, the Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, and Father Divine’s Peace Mission Movement, the book explores the theologies, embodied performance, ritual practices, community formations, and material expressions produced and supported in these movements. Other current projects include research on psychiatric discourses about and treatment of religious African Americans in the early 20thcentury and on race and religion in non-fiction film.

Judith Weisenfeld is a member of: