About Me

I am a Historian of Religions, specializing in contemporary African indigenous religions and their foundational influence in the African Diaspora in the Americas. My work is interdisciplinary, drawing most heavily on Cultural Anthropology, but also Women and Gender Studies, Ritual and Performance, and Postcolonial Theory.

An M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City gave me broad and solid training in religious thought and practice. It features in my current work as a regular focus on Ethics and the moral features of embodied ritual and performance.

I lived and worked for almost six years in Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya, teaching and working on issues of women, youth and development. I was married for 11 years to an Ivoirian and maintain strong family ties in Côte d’Ivoire.

My book, An Intimate Rebuke: Female Genital Power in Ritual and Politics in West Africa (Duke University Press, November 2018) draws on field research conducted in Côte d’Ivoire that extends back over 30-years. This work was generously supported by a Fellowship at Harvard Divinity School.

I have served as a consultant in academic administration and accreditation, grant-writing, and most recently as an Expert Witness in a refugee asylum case.

Other things about me:

  • I am a naturalized Swiss citizen (Pays de Vaud) as well as American, and speak fluent French.
  • A long-time disciple of a yoga lineage, I am a level II certified Yoga Instructor and also have certification in Yoga Nidra, a meditation-based form of deep integration.
  • I received training in the Active Coping Assessment℠ System, a psychological measure for predicting management capability and performance outcomes, developed at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and work as a consultant for Leslie Pratch & Co. to evaluate the match between executives’ capacities and company/organizational needs.
  • I earned two MOOC certificates with distinction through Coursera:
    • “The History and Future of Thinking and Learning in Higher Education in the Digital Age” (Cathy Davidson, Duke University), 2014
    • “Buddhism and Modern Psychology” (Princeton University), 2016
  • I am a creative writer and won several Writers’ Residency Awards from Artist Colonies for work on a memoir in progress, “Ask for the Road” (see Writer page – Creative Non-Fiction)