Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant

Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant

Professor of Africana Studies and Faculty Affiliate in Religion

Schapiro Hall Rm 119


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


AFR 316 / REL 265 / AMST 316

Sacred Cinema: Black Religion and the Movies (not offered 2020/21)

AFR 319 / AMST 319 / SOC 319

Ethnographic Approaches to Africana Studies (not offered 2020/21)

AFR 320 / AMST 320 / WGSS 320

Dangerous Bodies: Black Womanhood, Sexuality & Popular Culture (not offered 2020/21)

Scholarship/Creative Work

Select Publications & Media

  • “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.


Select Online, Media, & Op-Ed


Awards, Fellowships & Grants


Professional Affiliations

American Academy of Religion (AAR)

American Studies Association (ASA)

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)

  • Associate Dean of the Faculty (2016-2018)


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, she navigates the academy as a scholar-artist, where she merges her life as a musician and filmmaker with her interdisciplinary specializations in Religious Studies, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies, all 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.  She is also in the preproduction stage for her directorial debut, “Welcome to Toxic Tallevast,” a documentary about  a once-thriving African-American community on Florida’s Gulf Coast and the lasting impact of environmental contamination upon its inhabitants. 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 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.