Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant

Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant
Associate Dean of the Faculty, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Faculty Affiliate in Religion
Hopkins Hall


A.B. Duke University (1999)
M.Div. Emory University, Theology (2002)
Ph.D. Emory University (2007)


Note: courses in gray are not offered this academic year.

AFR 213 T / WGSS 213

Race, Gender, and the Alien Body: Octavia Butler's Science Fiction

WGSS 310 / AMST 309 / AFR 310 / REL 310

Womanist/Black Feminist Thought

AFR 315 / AMST 315

Blackness 2.0: Race, Film and New Technologies

AMST 316 / REL 265 / AFR 316

Sacred Cinema: Black Religion and the Movies

AFR 319 / AMST 319 / SOC 319

Ethnographic Approaches to Africana Studies

AFR 320 / AMST 320 / WGSS 320

Dangerous Bodies: Black Womanhood, Sexuality & Popular Culture

AFR 406

Crafting Research: Methods in Africana Studies

Scholarship/Creative Work

Select Publications

Select Presentations

  • "'Jesus Just Saved Your Life:' Black Women's Navigation of Popular Spiritual Terrians," Center for Blck Diaspora Annual Lecture Series, DePaul University (November 2014)
  • “The ‘New’ Black Woman as Scripted by the Music of Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself,” MESEA Bi-Annual Conference, Barcelona, Spain (June 2012)
  • “The ‘Church of Oprah’ and the Rise of Sapphmammibel: Race-ing Fatness in Contemporary Culture” PCA/ACA annual meeting, Boston, MA (April 2012)

  • “Mediated Experience: George Shulman’s American Prophecy and the 'Problem' of Location, Caribbean Philosophical Association annual meeting, Rutgers University (October 2011)

  • “Funny Black Men, Fat Black Women: Masculinizing the Feminine in Popular Film,” Black History Month Faculty Lecture Series, Rhode Island College (February 2011)

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

  • Hellman Fellows Grant for Assistant Professors, Williams College (2013-2014)
  • Career Enhancement Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (2010-2011)
  • Summer Fellowship, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning (2010)
  • Postdoctoral Diversity Fellowship, Ford Foundation (2009-2010)
  • First Book Grant for Minority Scholars, The Louisville Institute (2009-2010)

Professional Affiliations

American Academy of Religion (AAR)

Caribbean Philosophical Association (CPA)

The Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and Americas (MESEA)

National Council of Black Studies (NCBS)

National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)

Popular Culture and American Culture Associations (PCA/ACA)

Society for the Study of Black Religion (SSBR)


After completing her undergraduate education at Duke University, LeRhonda Manigault-Bryant received a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a PhD in Religion from Emory’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. A proud native of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, she navigates the academy as a scholar-artist, and teaches courses that merge her life as a musician and vocalist with her interdisciplinary specializations in religion, gender, race, music, and popular culture, with a focus on ethnographic methods.

Professor Manigault-Bryant is currently working on her second, single-authored monograph entitled Pushing Weight: Religion, Popular Culture, and the Implications of Image, which utilizes film theory, womanist/black feminist thought, and ethnographic data to examine how popular culture and contemporary media forms simultaneously influence mass interpretations of the black female "religious" body. Whether investigating religious practices of specific communities or exploring cultural production at the popular level, critical to her research are questions that unearth how African Americans respond to processes of cultural commodification.

For her creative endeavors, Professor Manigault-Bryant has been the recipient of independent and national grants from the Fund for Theological Education, the Ford Foundation, the Louisville Institute, the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology, Emory University, Wake Forest University, Williams College, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Professor Manigault-Bryant, a former Bolin Fellow, returned to Williams after having taught at Wake Forest University. You can follow her on Twitter @DoctorRMB

Current Committees

Africana Studies Program
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies