Interests & Research Awards

Research in Ile-Ife, Nigeria

My research in African religions initially focused on Divination. My dissertation was a comparative study of the dynamics of divination in the religious systems of West Africa. Postdoctoral fieldwork conducted in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire explored the multiple forms of divinatory practices that remain a vital part of contemporary urban life.

Other research in Africa has focused on ethnographic history and ethnic identity; possession trance and occult powers; ritual and performance; witchcraft; illness and healing; religion and gender; and religion and media.

My areas of interest are:

  • Religion, power and politics
  • Gender and Women’s Studies
  • Postcolonialism in theory and practice
  • Global Studies and civil society
  • Memory, Imagination and Identity
  • Comparative Ethics and Agency


Bond Chapel, The University of Chicago Divinity School


  • Society for Humanistic Anthropology – Ethnographic Creative Non-Fiction Award
  • Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University – Research Fellow
  • James S. Coleman Center for African Studies, UCLA – Sr. Fellow
  • Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion, The University of Chicago – Sr. Fellow
  • National Endowment for the Humanities – Research grant
  • West African Research Association – Research grant
  • American Academy of Religion – Research grant
  • Joseph M. Kitagawa Scholar, The University of Chicago – PhD full scholarship