Departmental Area: American Religious History
Address: Department of Religion
Jamil W. Drake earned his doctoral degree in American Religious Cultures at Emory University in August of 2015. He comes to Florida State University after serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Religious Studies Department at Bates College in Lewiston, ME.
Drake specializes in American religious history with particular interests in 20th century African-American religious cultures; religion and politics; and religion and popular culture. More specifically, he is interested in questions around religion and racial identity in the U.S. He is currently writing a history of race and class in American religion tentatively entitled, To Know the Soul of the People: American Folk Studies and Racial Politics of Popular Religion, 1900-1940. To Know the Soul of People tells a story of how the study of race and religion became a central topic in folklore research and the developing social sciences in the first half of the twentieth century. His research explores how the use of “folk religion” played a fundamental role in the process of classifying cultural behaviors that contributed to defining black lower and working-class communities in twentieth-century America.
REL3128-1 Topics: African American Religious Exp
This course is a survey of African-American religious cultures from the antebellum period to the Present. Students will examine a range of theologies, practices, and institutions in order to assess the place of religion in African-American experience. Students will reflect on primary and secondary sources in order to understand the importance of history and sociopolitical context(s) in shaping the meaning and function of African American religious experience. Meets Liberal Studies: History (LS-HIS).
REL4190 SEM: Race & US Rel History
This course will consider the problem of race in the study of American religious history. Students will grapple with how race and religion mutually inform one another in U.S. history. We will examine how race informs religious identification and difference and vice versa. In the end, race is an important scientific and political myth necessary to comprehending American religion.
RLG5195-1 SEM: Race & U.S. Religious History
This course is a survey of African-American religious cultures from the antebellum period to the Present. Students will examine a range of theologies, practices, and institutions in order to assess the place of religion in African-American experience. Students will reflect on primary and secondary sources in order to understand the importance of history and sociopolitical context(s) in shaping the meaning and function of African American religious experience.
REL2121 Religion in the United States Dr. Corrigan, Dr. Drake and Staff
This course is designed to introduce students to the major themes, figures, and directions of religion in American history, with an eye toward ways that social and cultural contexts have shaped the religious experience of Americans in different places and times. Since it is impossible to cover all religious traditions in one semester, this course will consist of both a general survey of religion in the U.S. and a series of case studies designed to provide a closer look into some of the religious groups and ideas that have shaped this country. Meets LS History requirements as well as Diversity in Western Experience (DIV-YWE).
REL 3125 Race and Ethnicity in US Religion
This course critically explores the relationship between religion, race, and ethnicity in American history from the Civil War to the Present. Students will examine the way in which religion, race, and ethnicity contribute to forging an American republic and national identity (as well as an “un-American” identity too!). Additionally, students will also consider the importance of religion in constructing and reconstructing racial and ethnic identities. This course will challenge students to interrogate the meaning of “America” and “religion” by engaging a range of religious, intellectual, and political groups (e.g. Confederates, Native Americans, evolutionary scientists, KKK, African-American southern migrants, Italian and Haitian immigrants etc.) within specific historical and social contexts. Ultimately, students will understand that race and ethnicity are not exceptions, but rather deeply constitutive features of American religion. Meets LS Ethics and Social Responsibility (ETH/SR) and Diversity in cross cultural studies (XCC)