JACOB S. DORMAN, Ph.D.
jdorman [at] unr.edu @JakeDPhD (775) 784-4447
MS 0151, Thompson Building, room 102, 1664 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89557
Associate Professor, The University of Nevada, Reno, Department of History and Core Humanities Program, Jan 2018-
Associate Professor, The University of Kansas, Dept. of History and Dept. of American Studies, July 2014 – May 2017.
Joint appointment with courtesy appointment in African and Afro-American Studies.
Assistant Professor, The University of Kansas, Dept. of History and Dept. of American Studies, August 2007 – June 2014.
Joint appointment with courtesy appointment in African and Afro-American Studies.
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Wesleyan University, Center for the Humanities, 2006 – 2007.
Prepared dissertation for publication and taught course on African American urban religions.
Special Projects Associate, Stanford University, Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute, 2005 – 2006.
Worked on public programs, new media and fundraising with the Director, Dr. Clayborne Carson.
Contributing Editor, UCLA, Marcus Garvey Papers Project, The Rastafari Bible, 1999 – 2000.
Wrote annotations and helped edit a volume of primary sources on Rastafarianism.
Ph.D., United States History, University of California, Los Angeles, June 2004.
Primary field: African American history. Secondary fields: United States cultural history, African Diaspora Religions. Dr. Brenda E. Stevenson, (chair), Dr. Henry Yu, Dr. Donald Cosentino.
Dissertation: The Black Israelites of Harlem and the Professors of Oriental and African Mystic Science in the 1920’s. African Americans in early twentieth century cities reimagined the past and created new religious traditions that resisted Jim Crow racism using the subversive potential of romantic Orientalist imagery.
A.B. in History with Highest Honors, summa cum laude, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1996.
Stanford Overseas Studies Center, St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University, England 1994 – 1995.
Honors Thesis: Hatzaad Harishon: Integration, Black Power and Black Jews in New York, 1964-1972.
Winner of Highest Honors and Stanford University’s Golden Medal in the Humanities, the thesis examines the attempt to integrate New York’s Black Israelites and European-descended Jews during the Civil Rights and Black Power eras.
HONORS AND AWARDS
Hall Center for the Humanities Research Fellowship, Spring 2015.
General Research Fund Grant, The University of Kansas, May 2014.
American Council of Learned Societies, Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship, 2014.
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for College Teachers, African-American Struggles for Freedom and Civil Rights, The Du Bois Institute, Harvard University, July 2013.
General Research Fund Grant, The University of Kansas, May 2013.
Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin, Research Fellow, June 2012.
General Research Fund Grant, The University of Kansas, May 2012.
National Endowment for the Humanities Long-Term Fellowship, The Newberry Library, 2010-2011.
General Research Fund Grant, The University of Kansas, May 2011.
Book Subvention Award, Friends of the Hall Center, The University of Kansas, 2011.
Black Metropolitan Research Consortium Fellowship, The University of Chicago, August 2010.
William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellowship, Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, Vanderbilt University, 2010-2011, declined.
Month-Long Research Grant, The University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, July 2010.
Research Grant, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, June 2010.
General Research Fund Grant, The University of Kansas, May 2010.
General Research Fund Grant, The University of Kansas, May 2009.
New Faculty General Research Fund Grant, The University of Kansas, May 2008.
Gilder-Lehrman Fellowship, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University, June 2007.
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Wesleyan University, Center for the Humanities, 2006 – 2007.
Donald C. Gallup Fellowship in American Literature, Beinecke Library, Yale University, September 2006.
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Center for the Study of Cultures, Rice University, 2006-2008, declined.
Transnational and Transcolonial Studies Paper Prize, University of California Research Group, 2002.
Carey McWilliams Four-Year Fellowship, UCLA Department of History, 1999 – 2004.
Jacob Javits Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education, 1999 – 2004, declined.
Research Grant, UCLA Center for African American Studies, 2001.
Yearlong Research Mentorship Grant, UCLA Graduate Division, 2001.
Summer Research Mentorship Grant, UCLA Graduate Division, 2000.
Golden Medal in the Humanities, Stanford University, 1996.
Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).
Winner of the Wesley-Logan Prize for African diaspora history from the American Historical Association; the Albert J. Raboteau Prize in Africana religions, and the Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award. Named an American Library Association Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2013.
The Princess and the Prophet: Magic, Race, and the Birth of Moorish Muslims in America (Boston: Beacon Press, 2020).
Articles and Book Chapters:
“Dreams Defended and Deferred: The Brooklyn Schools Crisis of 1968 and Black Power’s Influence on Rabbi Meir Kahane” American Jewish History 100 no. 2 (April 2016): 411-437.
“Oriental Hieroglyphics Understood Only by the Priesthood and a Chosen Few:” The Islamic Orientalism of White and Black Masons and Shriners” in Islam and the Atlantic World: New Paradigms from Latin America and the Caribbean, edited by Aisha Khan, 49-68. Gainesville, U. Press of Florida, 2015.
“A Colony in Babylon: Cooperation and Conflict between Black and White Jews in New York, 1930 to 1964.” In African Zion: Studies in Black Judaism, ed. Tudor Parfitt and Edith Bruder, 220-233. Newcastle on Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012.
“Skin Bleach and Civilization: The Racial Formation of Blackness in 1920s Harlem.” The Journal of Pan African Studies 4 no. 4, (June 2011): 46-79. Special Issue: Skin Bleaching and Global White Supremacy.
“‘Lifted out of the Commonplace Grandeur of Modern Times:’ Reappraising Edward Wilmot Blyden’s Views of Islam and Afrocentrism in Light of His Scholarly Black Christian Orientalism” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society 12, no 4 (October 2010): 398-418.
“Back to Harlem: Abstract and Everyday Labor during the ‘Harlem Renaissance’” in The Harlem Renaissance Revisited: Politics, Arts, and Letters, 74-90. Ed. Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.
“Black Orientalism and Black Gods of the Metropolis,” in Edward E. Curtis IV and Danielle Brune Sigler, editors, The New Black Gods: Arthur Huff Fauset and the Study of African American Religions. 116-142. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, June 2009.
“‘I Saw You Disappear with My Own Eyes:’ Hidden Transcripts of New York Black Israelite Bricolage,” Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, the University of California Press 11, no. 1 (August 2007): 61-83.
“Black Israelites aka Black Jews aka Black Hebrews: Black Israelism, Black Judaism, Judaic Christianity.” in Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in the United States, edited by Eugene V. Gallagher and W. Michael Ashcraft. 59-84. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2006.
“The Langston Hughes Asexuality Controversy and ‘The Terrible Doubt of Appearances.’” Forthcoming in volume commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the film Looking for Langston by Isaac Julien. Publisher to be determined. Not peer reviewed.
“Elite Hegemony, the Orient, and Other Myths of the Midway of 1893.” Under review at The Journal of American History.
“‘Mr. Black Man, Where Is Your Religion?’ The Great Migration’s Polycultural Black Spiritual Churches and The Limitations of Syncretism.” Revising for resubmission to The Journal of Africana Religions.
Kenyatta R. Gilbert, A Pursued Justice: Black Preaching from the Great Migration to Civil Rights, Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2016; and Josef Sorett, Spirit in the Dark: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics, New York: Oxford University Press, 2016, Journal of African American History, forthcoming.
Judith Weisenfeld, New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration, New York: New York University Press, 2016, History of Religions, forthcoming.
“Ever the Twain Shall Meet: Orientalism and American Studies.” A state-of-the-field book review of: Jacob Rama Berman, American Arabesque: Arabs, Islam, and the 19th-Century Imaginary (New York: New York University Press, 2012); Sohail Daulatzai, Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom in America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012); Waïl S. Hassan, Immigrant Narratives: Orientalism and Cultural Translation in Arab American and Arab British Literature (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011); Hsu-Ming Teo, Desert Passions: Orientalism and Romance Novels (Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2012); Alex Lubin, Geographies of Liberation: The Making of an Afro-Arab Political Imaginary (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014). American Quarterly: The Official Publication of the American Studies Association 67 no. 2 (June 2015): 491-503.
Jamie J. Wilson, Building a Healthy Black Harlem: Health Politics in Harlem, New York, from the Jazz Age to the Great Depression, Amherst, New York: Cambria Press, 2009, African Americans in New York Life and History 38: 1, (January 2014): 124.
Lori Harrison-Kahan, The White Negress: Literature, Minstrelsy, and the Black-Jewish Imaginary (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2011), Journal of American History 99 no. 2 (2012): 628-9.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, eds. Harlem Renaissance Lives: From the African American National Biography, Journal of American Ethnic History, 31, No. 2 (Winter 2012): 135-7.
Derek Chang, Citizens of a Christian Nation: Evangelical Missions and the Problem of Race in the Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010), The American Historical Review 116, No. 3 (June 2011): 816-817.
Barbara Diane Savage, Your Spirits Walk Beside Us: The Politics of Black Religion (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2008) Featured Review, The Journal of Southern Religion 12 (2010), http://jsr.fsu.edu/Volume12/
Colin Grant, Negro With a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008) in American Studies, 50 no. 1/2 (Spring/Summer 2009): 199-200.
Davarian L. Baldwin, Chicago’s New Negroes: Modernity, The Great Migration, and Black Urban Life (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007) in The Journal of African American History, 93 no. 3 (June 2008): 452-454.
Mary G. Rolinson, Grassroots Garveyism: The Universal Negro Improvement Association in the Rural South, 1920-1927 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007) in American Studies, 48 no. 3 (Fall 2007): 169-170.
CONFERENCES and INVITED LECTURES
“Zulus, Hindus, Arabs, and Ethnological Imposture and Inspiration in Gilded Age and Progressive Era Circus, Magic, and Religion,” American Historical Association, Denver, Colorado, January 2017. Panel convener.
“The Great Migration’s Black Spiritual Churches and the Limitations of Syncretism,” African Religions in the Americas Workshop, The University of Chicago Divinity School, Chicago, Illinois, May 2016. Invited participant.
“Black Jews and Black Power: How ‘The First Step’ Towards Jewish Racial Integration Faltered in 1968 New York,” American Studies Association, Toronto, Canada, October 2015.
“Africana/Americana: Race Politics and the Making of American Religious Histories (Roundtable Discussion),” American Academy of Religion, San Diego, November 2014. Invited state-of-the-field panel member.
“Whites, Jews, Black Israelites and the Black Power Era in New York City: The Possessive Investment in Whiteness and the Fraying of the Black-Jewish Left.” Blacks, Jews, and Social Justice in America,
American Studies Conference, Brandeis, June 10, 2014.”
Panel Discussion on African American Jewry Led by Rabbi Capers Funnye, Jewish Museum of Florida-Florida International University, Miami, Florida, February 23, 2014. Invited discussant.
“Black Jews and the Problem of Jewish Whiteness Studies” Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society, The University of Indiana, Bloomington, January 20, 2014, Invited lecture.
“Retelling Black Spiritual Church History, Rethinking Syncretism,” Religion Unchained: The Development of Black Spiritualities in American History Symposium, Utah State University, October 2013. Invited lecture.
“The Whiteness of White Jews: Lessons from Black History,” Jews, Race, America Symposium, The University of Indiana, Bloomington, October 2013. Invited participant.
“Writing From the Margins: The Centrality of African American Alternative Religions” in “New Approaches Beyond the ‘Black Church’: Reconsidering Frazier, Esotericsim, and Alternative Faiths,” panel convener, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Jacksonville, Florida, October 2013.
“Invisible, Yet Hyper-Visible: Black Identity and the Struggle for Freedom in America,” chair, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Jacksonville, Florida, October 2013.
“(Inter)National Media and the Black Freedom Movement,” chair, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Jacksonville, Florida, October 2013.
“Polycultural Rhizomes not Syncretic Roots: Interracial Individuals of African Descent and the 1920s Formation of Black Spiritual Churches as Polycultural Bricolage,” Society for the Anthropology of Religion, Pasadena, California, April 2013.
“Sex Magic, Orientalism, and the Rise of New Religious Movements.” Newberry Colloquium, June 2011. Invited lecture.
“Black Religion Beyond ‘Roots’: Bishop Crowdy, Bishop Christian, and the Holiness Church ‘Rhizomes’ of Black Israelite Judaism, 1892-1908.” Center for Afro-Jewish Studies, Temple U., April 2011. Invited lecture.
“‘We are Israelites but not Jews:’ Orientalism and Israelism in the Holiness-Pentecostal Movement and the Beginnings of Black Israelite Religions in the 1890s.” Jews and Judaism in Black Africa and its Diasporas Conference, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, October 2010. Invited lecture.
“Reappraising Melville J. Herskovits' Conceptual Frameworks in Light of His Early Physical Anthropology.” Part of “Reappraising Melville J. Herskovits: Scholarship At and Beyond the Heart of Blackness,” featured panel, panel convener, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Raleigh, NC, October 2010.
“‘Mr. Black man, where is your religion?’: Black Spiritualists and the Contested Genealogies of African American Religions.” Mumbo Jumbo: Critical Perspectives on Black Atlantic Sacred Arts, UCLA, June 2010. Invited lecture.
“Circus, Shriners, and Fairs, Oh My: Orientalism in American Popular Culture and the Rise of Twentieth Century Black Islam.” Part of “American Orientalisms,” panel co-convener.
American Historical Association Conference, San Diego, California, January 2010.
“‘The Scrubwoman of Civilization:’ Black Women and Black Discourses of Civilization.”
Respectability Colloquium, Hall Center for the Humanities, The University of Kansas, November 2009.
“The West Indian Formerly Known as “Dusé Mohamed Ali” and the Black Orientalist Origins of Pan-Africanism.” Part of “West Indian Transnational Political Activism,” panel convener.
Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Cincinnati, Ohio, October 2009.
“Black Orientalism: African American Jews, Muslims and Other Chosen People from Slavery to the Harlem Renaissance,” Second International Conference on Orientalisms, U.C. Merced, April 2009.
“Othering the In, Othering the Out: Identity Formation in the Post Civil War Era.” Chair and commentator, KU-MU History Graduate Student Conference, The University of Kansas, April 2009.
“Religion and the Performance of Blackness in the Broadway Musical Passing Strange.”
Performance Seminar, Hall Center for the Humanities, The University of Kansas, November 2008.
“The Post-Black Aesthetic in a New Broadway Musical: Religion and the Performance of Race.”
Association for Cultural Studies Crossroads Conference, Mona, Jamaica, the University of the West Indies, July 2008.
“Circus, Shriners, and Fairs, Oh My: An Alternative History of Black Islam and American Orientalism.” Jesse B. Semple Brownbag Series, Langston Hughes Center, The University of Kansas, September 2008.
“Black Folks Passing for Black Folks”: Anti-Essentialism and Post-Blackness in STEW’s 2007 rock musical, Passing Strange.” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Charlotte, October 2008.
“Class and Conduct During the Harlem Renaissance.” The Harlem Renaissance Revisited Conference, The University of Connecticut, March 2008.
“Black Orientalism and Black Gods of the Metropolis.” Revisiting Black Gods of the Metropolis Symposium: African American Religions in the Twentieth Century, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, April 2007, Invited participant.
“Black Orientalism: Ideas of the East in African American Religions of the 1920’s.” American Historical Association Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, January 2007.
“Black Israelites and the Polycultural Construction of African American Religion in the 1920’s.”
Center for the Humanities, Wesleyan University, November 2006. Invited lecture.
Roundtable, Freeman Asian/Asian American Studies Initiative on the theme of “War, Intimate Trauma and Asian American and African American Crossings.” Wesleyan University, November 2006, Invited participant.
“Freemasonry, Religion, and African American Civil Society, 1919-1939.” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Atlanta, September 2006.
“‘Science and Oriental is Great Wonder:’ The Black Orientalism of Professors of Oriental and African Mystic Science During the Harlem Renaissance.” Fifty Years Beyond Bandung Conference, Cleveland State University, April 2006.
“Black Orientalism: Rethinking Black Alternative Religions.” Department of History, Howard University, April 2006. Invited lecture.
“‘Savage Blackness:’ Skin Bleach and the Racial Formation of the ‘Negro.’” Variations on Blackness Conference, Indiana University, March 2006.
“Skin-Bleaching and the Discourse of Civilization in 1920’s Harlem,” Race and Africana Studies Conference, University of Connecticut, March 2006.
“Popular Culture and the Discourse of Civilization during the Harlem Renaissance.” Department of History, Florida International University, December 2005. Invited lecture.
“Reinvention, Performance, and the Alchemy of Race: the Multiple Contexts of Black Israelism.” The Future of African-American Studies Conference, Harvard University, 2000.
“I saw you disappear with my own eyes: Black Israelites in Harlem.” The Pious and the Profane: Religion and Public Culture, Western Humanities Conference, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 2000.
“Pentecostalism and Freemasonry in the Black Israelite Faith of Harlem, New York.” UCLA African Studies Conference, Los Angeles, California, 2000.
Assistant & Associate Professor, The University of Kansas
AMS 100 An Introduction to American Studies
A large lecture course with 221 students introducing the interdiscipline of American Studies.
AMS 101 Understanding America/AAAS 116 The Black Experience in the Americas: Blackness, Whiteness, and Racism. Freshman honors seminar examining whiteness through African American Studies.
HIST 129/131 United States History from the Civil War to the Present
History surveys, one a small honors course and one a 150-person survey.
HIST 301 The Historian’s Craft
A required methodology course for History majors.
HIST/AMS 312 American Culture, 1877 to the Present
A survey with 70-90 students, covering popular culture, religion, music, and sexuality.
HIST/AMS 316 Magicians & Ministers: Black Religions from Slavery to the Present
A 30 person survey on African American religions.
HIST 492 The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
A historical survey of the period between Reconstruction and World War I.
AMS 550 Research Seminar
Interdisciplinary capstone course in American Studies.
HIST 696 Seminar in Race and Religion in the United States
A capstone course for History majors conducting original research and writing.
AMS 696 Studies In: The History of Harlem and Its “Renaissance”
The literary, artistic, and social histories of the Harlem Renaissance.
AMS 802 Theorizing America
Part of the required first year American Studies graduate seminar sequence.
AMS 805 American Pluralism: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in American Life
A seminar focusing on theory in African American History.
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
African American Urban Religious History
Upper division seminar, Winter 2007.
Instructor, New College of California, San Francisco, CA
Whiteness and Racism: Race and Myth 1800-2000
Seminar in Whiteness Studies.
Teaching Assistant and Teaching Associate, Department of History, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
African American History, 1865-present.
The United States from 1800 to 1900.
An Introduction to Western Civilization, French Revolution-present.
STUDENTS, THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
Jon Wells, Ph.D. Dissertation Committee, Department of History, 2012-2013.
Joe Bond, BA Honors Thesis Committee, Department of History, 2012-2013, (chair).
Chris Farley, BA Honors Thesis Committee, Department of History, 2012-2013.
Jennifer David, BA Honors Thesis Committee, Department of History, 2012-2013.
Jordan T. Moore, BA Honors Thesis Committee, Department of History, 2012-2013.
Dustin M. Gann Ph.D. Dissertation Committee, Department of History, 2010-2012.
Jason Roe, Ph.D. Dissertation Committee, Department of History, 2011-2012.
Eric Daniel Wong, BA Honors Thesis Committee, Department of History, 2012.
Alexander Cloyd, BA Senior Thesis Committee, Department of History, 2010, (chair).
Mary Sorrick, BA Honors Thesis Committee, Department of History, 2008-2009.
Masami Sugimori, Ph.D. Dissertation Committee, Department of English, 2009.
Scholarly Reviews and Conference Organizing:
Program Committee, The Association for the Study of African American Life and History, 2014, 2016.
Book reviewer for The American Historical Review, The Journal of American History, The Journal of American Ethnic History, the Journal of Southern History, The Journal of Southern Religion, The Journal of African American History, American Quarterly, American Studies, and Church History.
Article referee for Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions.
Panel organizer at the American Historical Association (2010, 2017).
and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (2009, 2010, 2013, 2016).
Book Competition Reviewer, ARLT Award in the Humanities, Fall 2009.
The University of Kansas:
History Department Graduate Committee, 2014-2016.
American Studies Graduate Committee, 2008-2010, 2011-2013.
History Department Undergraduate Education Committee, 2007-2010, 2012-2013.
American Studies Steering Committee, 2007-2010, 2010-present.
History Department Staff Needs Committee, 2011-2012.
History and American Studies Departments, Liaison for Research Computing, 2009-2010.
History Department Web “Czar,” (supervised site redesign), 2009-2010.
Committee Chair, Ad-hoc Committee to Redesign the Graduate Curriculum, 2009-2010.
American Studies Graduate Placement Officer, 2009-2010.
History Department Direct Hire Committee, 2008-2009.
History Department Graduate Placement Officer, 2008-2009.
American Studies Web “Czar,” (supervised site redesign), 2008-2009.
American Studies Center for Teaching Excellence Ambassador, 2007-2008.
American Historical Association
Association for the Study of African American Life and History
American Studies Association
American Academy of Religion
WEB & MEDIA
Produced and contributed two stories for National Public Radio, February and June, 2004.
Contributed to online religion sites The Revealer and Religion Dispatches, October 2013.
Book Interview on Chosen People with KPR, National Public Radio of Kansas, September 2013.
Book Interview on Chosen People with Utah Public Radio, November 2013.
English (native speaker)