James A. Manigault-Bryant

James Manigault-Bryant

Chair and Professor of Africana Studies and Faculty Affiliate in Anthropology and Sociology and Religion

Hollander Hall Rm 218


B.A. Tulane University
Ph.D. Brown University



The Plantation and Its Afterlife (not offered 2024/25)


James Manigault-Bryant is Professor of Africana Studies. He studies religious phenomena, particularly those that emerge from the experience of being African-American. Exploring expressions of religion, and the numerous cultural forms they take, has led him to two concerns that cut across the fields of Africana Studies and Sociology. First, our unfolding understanding of the American social unconscious—or the invisible terms of sociality—as derived from interpretations of Protestant Christian theology; and second, the critical insights into this unconscious found in sacred and secular narratives of African-American life.

Manigault-Bryant has published essays in the CLR James Journal, The Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books, Critical Sociology, Africana Studies Review, and the Journal of Africana Religions on topics ranging from imaginings of Africa in the discipline of Sociology, the ways US nationalism suppresses expressions of temporal variety, and how military industrial production degrades Black-inhabited environments.

Manigault-Bryant’s courses at Williams College like Race, Environment, and the Body, Time and Blackness, Queen Sugar and Black Study, and Africana Studies and the Disciplines, invite students to think with a variety of media about the impacts of secular modernity on Black diasporic communities, the histories of Black Studies and the European social sciences, and Black experiences of embodiment in light of environmental inequality.