Jalane Schmidt headshot

Jalane Schmidt

Associate Professor of Religious Studies

My research and teaching is focused upon African diaspora religions of the Caribbean and Latin America, and particularly festivity and ritual. I teach courses which consider the effects of colonization and the slave trade upon religious practice in the Americas. In my book project on 20th c. Cubans’ devotion to their patron saint, I examine religious, racial, and cultural hybridity in the Americas by interpreting the national expansion of this popular cult. In my emerging research, I am investigating how the history of slavery is performed in spirit possession rituals and expressed in material culture. Particularly, I am concerned with how contemporary mediums describe heightened sensory perception as a means for navigating traumatic emotional terrain.