About Me

I am a Historian of Religions (Ph.D., University of Chicago), 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.

I recently served as an Expert Witness in a refugee asylum case for an Ivoirian refugee, and drew evidence from knowledge and research featured in my book An Intimate Rebuke (Duke UP 2018).

I am also a creative writer and won several Writers’ Residency Awards for Creative Non-Fiction, a memoir in progress. (see page under “Publications”).

Other things about me:

  • I am a Swiss citizen (Pays de Vaud) as well as American, and speak fluent French (as well as some Italian).
  • 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


To read my CV go to the “Professor” pull-down menu above