coverMy first book, A Luminous Brotherhood: Afro-Creole Spiritualism in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in Fall of 2016. The book won the 2017 Francis B. Simkins Award from the Southern Historical Association and the 2017 Michael Thomason Book Award from the Gulf South Historical Association. It was also selected as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Reviews. The book examines how the beliefs and practice of Spiritualism helped Afro-Creoles mediate the political, social, and cultural changes in New Orleans as the city moved from the antebellum period through Reconstruction. The messages the Cercle Harmonique received from the spirit world and the spirits who sent them offered the circle a forum for airing their political grievances and looking forward to a more egalitarian world. For more on this book, including reviews and other media about it, check out the book’s page.

I currently have three book projects in the works. One is my next scholarly monograph, tentatively titled Jesuit Missions and Native Communities in the Northwest, 1840–1940. This project will bring together: Jesuit missions,  Native American religions, the history of the American West, and settler colonialism. For more on this project, check out my page on Catholicism and Colonialism.

The other two projects are co-edited volumes. One is titled Introductions to Digital Humanities: Material Religion, and is part of De Gruyter’s new series on Religion and the Digital Humanities. I’m excited about this volume and happy to be co-editing it with Rachel Lindsey. It will interrogate the important question of how material religion becomes digital. The other project is Race and New Religious Movements in America: A Documentary Reader, which I am co-editing with Brad Stoddard. Exploring 20 new religious movements (the Cercle Harmonique will make an appearance!), the book will be the first of its kind and is under contract with Bloomsbury Press.



  1. […] flashpoint of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and class that reminded me of the complex study Emily is working on. In more cases than I expected these historians included “religion” and […]

  2. […] questions in regards to my dissertation evidence and research. The main archive of evidence for my dissertation is the séance records of a small group of Afro-creole Spiritualists in mid- to […]

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