Professor of Africana Studies and Faculty Affiliate in Religion
M.Div. Emory University, Theology (2002)
Ph.D. Emory University (2007)
AFR 310 / AMST 309 / REL 310 / WGSS 310 LECWomanist/Black Feminist Thought (not offered 2022/23)
AFR 315 / AMST 315 / STS 315 SEMBlackness 2.0: Race, Film and New Technologies (not offered 2022/23)
AFR 316 / REL 265 / AMST 316 LECSacred Cinema: Black Religion and the Movies (not offered 2022/23)
AFR 319 / AMST 319 / SOC 319 SEMEthnographic Approaches to Africana Studies (not offered 2022/23)
Select Publications & Media
- Fat Religion: Protestant Christianity and the Construction of the Fat Body. (Routledge, 2021).
- “Yeezy’s (Impossible) Love in Fugitivity’s Strings: A Meditation on ‘Runaway,’ co-authored with James Manigault-Bryant. Journal of Hip Hop Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1 (2019): 48-50.
- “‘I Had a Praying Grandmother:’ Religion, Prophetic Witness, and Black Women’s Herstories. In New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition, edited by Keisha Blain, Christopher Cameron, and Ashley Farmer, 115-130 (Northwestern University Press, 2018).
- “Conjuring Pasts and Ethnographic Presents in Zora Neale Hurston’s Modernity,” co-authored with James Manigault-Bryant. Journal of Africana Religions Vol. 4. No. 2, (Summer 2016): 225-235.
- Talking to the Dead: Religion, Music, and Lived Memory among Gullah/Geechee Women (Duke University Press, 2014).
- Womanist and Black Feminist Responses to Tyler Perry’s Productions, co-edited with Tamura A. Lomax and Carol B. Duncan (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
Select Online, Media, & Op-Ed
- PRECIPICE: On the Black Maternal. 2021. Video documentary short by LeRhonda Manigault-Bryant
- death. everything. nothing. 2020. Video documentary short by LeRhonda Manigault-Bryant (TRAILER)
- “My Mother is Busy Getting Ready to Die.” New York Times, April 22, 2020. (Printed as “My Mom is Busy Getting Ready to Die.” New York edition, Section A, page 23, April 24).
- Guest, “The Second Redemption.” Scene on Radio. Season 4, Episode 8. April 15, 2020.
- “It’s Been so Long.” 2019. Audio documentary short by LeRhonda Manigault-Bryant and Kim Nederveen Pieterse.
- “NOURISH.” 2019. Video documentary short by LeRhonda Manigault-Bryant and Charity Van Dyke.
- “Do Not Look for Me at the Women’s March on the Women’s March on Washington.” Room for Debate, The New York Times, January 9, 2017.
- “An Open Letter to White Liberal Feminists” November 19, 2016, Black Perspectives, A Blog of the African American Intellectual Historical Society.
- “#dangerousbodies #blackwomen #scifi” Williams College TEDx Conference (January 2014).
Awards, Fellowships & Grants
- Arthur Vining Davis Visiting Fellow in Religious Literacy & the Professions, Harvard University Divinity School (2019-2020)
- Andrew Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship, Williams College (2018-2021)
American Academy of Religion (AAR)
American Film Institute (AFI)
American Studies Association (ASA)
Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP)
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)
University Film and Video Association (UFVA)
- Associate Dean of the Faculty (2016-2018)
LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant is Professor of Africana Studies at Williams College and founder of ConjureGirlBlue Productions. After completing her undergraduate education at Duke University, she 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, Rhon navigates the academy as a scholar-artist, where she merges her life as an intellectual, musician and filmmaker. She is the author of multiple academic books, public-facing writing, and films including Talking to the Dead: Religion, Music, and Lived Memory among Gullah/Geechee Women (2014) and the acclaimed documentary short “death. everything. nothing” (2020). She has three works in progress including “Welcome to Toxic Tallevast” a documentary on environmental contamination in an African-American community on Florida’s Gulf coast; 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; and a monograph entitled “Black Crossroads: Mourning Rituals and Geographies of Sacred Space. 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 navigate processes of cultural commodification.
For her creative endeavors, Professor Manigault-Bryant has been the recipient of independent and national grants from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, 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.
Occasionally, you can find Rhon adding her colorful, critical, commentary to the digital universe via Twitter @DoctorRMB.