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ACADEMIC POSITIONS

  • 2015 – : Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, College of Charleston
  • 2014-2015:  Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion and African and African American Studies, Earlham College
  • 2014:  Visiting Lecturer of History and Catholic Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

EDUCATION

  • 2014:  Northwestern University – Ph.D., Religious Studies
  • 2008:  Harvard Divinity School – M.T.S., Religions of the Americas
  • 2006:  St. Bonaventure University – B.A., History and Theology

IN PROGRESS

  • Authentically Black and Truly Catholic: The Rise of Black Catholicism in the Great Migration (New York University Press, Fall 2017)

PUBLICATIONS

  • 2016: “Forum: Race, White Supremacy, and the Making of American Catholicism,” American Catholic Studies (Fall 2016).
  • 2015:  Review of Women of the Nation: Between Black Protest and Sunni Islam, by Dawn-Marie Gibson and Jamillah Karim, Journal of American History 102 (2015): 621.
  • 2015:  Review of Gods of the Mississippi, Michael Pasquier ed., Journal of Southern Religion 17 (2015): http://jsreligion.org/issues/vol17/cressler.html.
  • 2014:  “Black Power, Vatican II, and the Emergence of Black Catholic Liturgies,” U.S. Catholic Historian 32.4 (Fall 2014).
  • 2014:  “Black Catholic Conversion and the Burden of Black Religion,” Journal of Africana Religions, Vol. 2 No. 2 (2014): 280-287.
  • 2013:  Review of The Look of Catholics, by Anthony Burke Smith, Material Religion vol. 9, iss. 2 (June 2013): 255-257.
  • 2011:  “Ground Zero and the ‘S-word,’” Harvard Divinity Bulletin vol. 39, nos. 1&2 (Winter/Spring 2011): 11-14.

ONLINE PUBLICATIONS

AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS, AND GRANTS

  • 2014:  George Bond Graduate Award for Teaching, Northwestern University
  • 2013:  Graduate Affiliate, Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, Northwestern University
  • 2012:  John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award, American Catholic Historical Association
  • 2012:  Research Grant, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism (University of Notre Dame)
  • 2006:  Ideal Student Award, St. Bonaventure University
  • 2006:  Fr. Roderick Wheeler History Award, St. Bonaventure University
  • 2006:  Senior Theology Award, St. Bonaventure University

ACADEMIC PRESENTATIONS

  • 2015: Presider, “Race, White Supremacy, and the Construction of ‘American Catholicism'” Roundtable at the American Academy of Religion, Atlanta (November)
  • 2014:  “Black Catholics, Black Power, and the Second Vatican Council in Chicago” at The Lived History of Vatican II Conference, University of Notre Dame (April).
  • 2014:  “Black and Catholic?: Debating Black Power and the Black Catholic Movement, 1968-1984,” in Catholics, Racial Justice, and Reassessing Religion in the Long Civil Rights Movement at the American Historical Association (January).
  • 2014:  “Liturgy as Protest: Black Catholic Masses in the Post-Conciliar United States,” in Liturgical Imagination and Social Justice: Four Case Studies in Postconciliar U.S. Catholic Activism at the American Catholic Historical Association, Washington D.C. (January).
  • 2013:  “The ‘SOUL’ of Black Catholics: Imagining Africa and the Black Catholic Diaspora, 1968–1984,” in African Religions Across the Black Atlantic: Christian and Muslim Diasporas at the American Academy of Religion, Baltimore (November).
  • 2013:  “Black Catholics and the Politics of Conversion in Migration-era Chicago” in Black Catholicism and Black Religion in American Religious History at the American Society of Church History, New Orleans (January).
  • 2013:  “Black Catholics and Black Power” in Another Historiographical Heresy? Catholic Distinctiveness in American Religious History at the American Historical Association, New Orleans (January).
  • 2011:  “Black Priest for a Black Church: Race and Catholicism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,” in Out of Place: African American Religious Lives in Catholic, Mormon, and Orthodox Spaces at the American Academy of Religion, San Francisco (November).
  • 2011:  “‘Official Host of the Son of God’: Visions of a Catholic America at Chicago’s International Eucharistic Congress,” in Faith and the City: Urban Religions and the Narratives of Modernity at the American Society of Church History, Boston (January).

INVITED PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS

  • 2015:  “A Catholic Case for Reparations,” Fr. Jerome Kelley Lecture, St. Bonaventure University (October).
  • 2014:  “Black Catholics from Great Migrations to Black Power,” Institute for Black Catholic Studies, Xavier University of Louisiana (November).
  • 2012:  “Black Catholics and the Souls of Black Folk,” Guest Speaker, Northwestern University Interfaith Initiative (May).
  • 2010:  “What Do Catholics, Martin Luther King, and Park 51 Have in Common? A Conversation about Religion and America,” Interfaith Hall Fireside Chat, Northwestern University (November).
  • 2010:  “African American Religion and Power: Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin,” Interfaith Hall Fireside Chat, Northwestern University (February).

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Professor, College of Charleston

  • 2016: Religion in America
  • 2016: Approaches to Religion: Sacred and Special Stuff
  • 2015: Religion and Society: Black Nationalism and Religion
  • 2015: African American Religion

Professor, Earlham College

  • 2015:  History of African American Religious Experiences
  • 2015:  Riots and Rebellions in African American History
  • 2015:  Becoming Someone New: Stories of Spiritual Transformation
  • 2014:  Is Religion T(t)rue?: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
  • 2014:  Black Nationalism and Black Power

Lecturer, University of Illinois at Chicago

  • 2014:  Catholics and Catholicism in American History

Teaching Assistant, Northwestern University

  • 2013:  Introduction to Islam (Brannon Ingram)
  • 2012:  Religion in Human Experience (Richard Kieckhefer)
  • 2012:  Introduction to Islam (Muhammad Sani Umar)
  • 2011:  Religion in Human Experience (J. Michelle Molina)
  • 2010:  Religion, Medicine, and Suffering in the West (Robert Orsi)
  • 2010:  American Religious History, World War II – Present (Robert Orsi)
  • 2009:  American Religious History, 1865 – Great Depression (Robert Orsi)

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • 2015: Co-writer for Wabash Center Grant for “Developing Interfaith Encounters as High Impact Educational Practices,” College of Charleston
  • 2011 – 2012:  “Religion and the Trans” Graduate Student Conference, Committee Chair, Northwestern University
  • 2009 – 2012:  Graduate Student Convener, North American Religions Workshop, Northwestern University
  • 2010 – 2011:  President, Religious Studies Graduate Student Association, Northwestern University

LANGUAGES

  • French, Reading Proficiency
  • Spanish, Reading Proficiency

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Black Catholic Theological Symposium (Affiliate Member)
  • American Academy of Religion
  • American Historical Association
  • American Society of Church History
  • American Catholic Historical Association

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