Jamil Drake specializes in American religious history with particular interests in 20th century African-American religious cultures; religion and politics; and religion and popular culture. More specifically, he is interested in questions around religion and racial identity in the U.S. He is the author of To Know the Soul of a People: Religion, Race, and the Making of Southern Folk (Oxford, 2022), which tells a story of how the study of race and religion became a central topic in folklore research and the developing social sciences in the first half of the twentieth century. His research explores how the use of “folk religion” played a fundamental role in the process of classifying cultural behaviors that contributed to defining black lower and working-class communities in twentieth-century America.
Yale Divinity School