Assistant Professor of Religion and Africana Studies
N. Fadeke Castor (she/they) is a Black Feminist ethnographer and African diaspora studies scholar, with research and teaching interests in religion, race, performance and the intersectional politics of decolonization. As a Yorùbá Ifá initiate of Trinidadian heritage they are inspired by African spiritual engagements with Black liberation imaginaries and the Black radical tradition. She is the author of Spiritual Citizenship: Transnational Pathways from Black Power to Ifá in Trinidad (Duke University Press, 2017; Clifford Geertz Prize, 2018), which centered the Ifá/Orisha religion in the Black radical tradition and Trinidad’s Black Power revolution to illuminate practices and performances of decolonization in the post-colonial Caribbean. Their writings can be found in Cultural Anthropology, Fieldwork in Religion, Tarka, and The Black Scholar. Her current research focuses on an exploration of the spiritual ontologies and epistemologies of Black spiritual praxis as shifting our centers of being and ways of knowing towards collective care, healing, and social transformation. As part of this larger project they are building Digital Ancestral Altars: Remembrances of Trinidad Ifá/Orisha Elders (funded by a Community Stories grant from The Crossroads Project, Princeton University), a digital multi-modal repository and archive, to commemorate Trinidad’s ancestral Ifá/Orisha elders.
- Community Stories Fellow Grant, The Crossroads Project, Princeton University (2023-2024)
- Mutual Mentoring Advancement Program Grant, ADVANCE, Northeastern University (Spring 2020)
- Clifford Geertz Award in Anthropology of Religion, American Anthropological Association (2018)
- Roots & Wings Movement! Makeda Thomas Dance & Performance Institute, Artist in Residence, Port of Spain, Trinidad. (Summer 2010)
Articles & Book Chapters
- Castor, N. F. In Press. “Navigating the Africana Studies Joint Position” with Bertin M. Louis. In Conditionally Accepted: Navigating Higher Education from the Margins, edited by Bertin Louis and Eric Joy Denise. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
- Castor, N. F. 2022. Ifá/Orisha Digital Counterpublics. The Black Scholar 52(3): 17–29 (special issue “Black Religions in the DigitalAge” edited by Margarita Guillory). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00064246.2022.2079065
- Castor, N. F. 2022. Subjectivity: Offerings from African Diasporic Religious Ethnography. Fieldwork in Religion 17(1): 72–83 (special issue “Critical Terms for the Ethnography of Religion” edited by Brendan Jamal Thornton and Eric Hoenes). https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/22605
- Castor, N. F. 2022. Our Commitments to Those Who Have Come Before: Reflections on an African Diasporic Spiritual Citizenship. Tarka 6: 24-30 (special issue “On Spiritual Citizenship” edited by Stephanie Corigliano). https://www.tarkajournal.com/home/spiritual-citizenship
- Castor, N. F. 2021. Spiritual Ethnicity: Our Collective Ancestors in Ifá Devotion across the Americas. In Embodying Black Religions in Africa and Its Diasporas. edited by Yolanda Covington-Ward and Jeanette S. Jouili, 70-96. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
- Castor, N. F. 2019. Juju Justice: Policing and Black Religions, with Aisha Beliso De-Jesús and Allison McCrary. Africana Studies Review 6(1) Spring: 86-99.
- Black Performance Theory Working Group Grant, Northwestern University, 2023
- Community Stories Fellow Grant, The Crossroads Project, 2023 – 2024
- Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School, 2022 – 2023
- Northeastern University Humanities Center, Faculty Fellowship, 2021 – 2022
Related Schools & Departments
PhD , University of Chicago
BA, Pomona Colege
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Religion and Spirituality in the African Diaspora
Examines religious thought and rituals and the Diaspora in a comparative context. Topics include traditional religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism in Africa, and the Diaspora. Emphasizes the transformation of religions practiced in Africa when African captives were forced into the three slave trades affecting the continent of Africa: trans-Saharan, Indian Ocean, and transatlantic.
Introduction to Religious Studies
Examines the methods, disciplines, and theories employed in the academic study of religion. Focuses on major theories of religion employed in the discipline of religious studies, including historical, psychological, anthropological, and sociological approaches. Introduces students to the primary methods of research in the academic study of religion