Paul Christopher Johnson (Initiative Fellow; 2008-2012) is Professor of History and of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan, where he also served as Director of the Doctoral Program in Anthropology and History from 2008-2014. Together with the sociologist Geneviève Zubrzycki, Johnson is the editor of the interdisciplinary journal, Comparative Studies in Society and History. He is the author of Secrets, Gossip, and Gods: The Transformation of Brazilian Candomblé (Oxford 2002), named best book in the analytical-descriptive category by the American Academy of Religion; and Diaspora Conversions: Black Carib Religion and the Recovery of Africa (California 2007), awarded the Wesley Logan Prize of the American Historical Association for the best book on African diaspora history. Johnson recently co-authored and edited the volume, Spirited Things: The Work of "Possession" in Afro-Atlantic Religions, published by University of Chicago Press. Johnson was awarded a Guggenheim award in 2008 for his genealogical work on the category of "spirit possession," and is now at work on a new book entitled, "Automatic: On the Mechanization of 'Religion' in France and Brazil, 1870-1940."