Online Forum: HBO’s Watchmen

Screenshot from HBO’s Watchmen

February 10–13, 2020

Black Perspectivesthe award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is hosting an online forum on HBO’s hit series Watchmen organized by Ahmad Greene-Hayes. The forum will offer pieces from scholars in African American religious studies who think critically about the show and its engagement with politics, performance, and African American religions in the early twentieth-century South, specifically in Tulsa, after the 1921 massacre.

The forum begins on Monday, February 10th and concludes on Thursday, February 13th.

The forum will feature pieces from Ahmad Greene-Hayes (Princeton University)Ambre Dromgoole (Yale University), James Howard Hill Jr. (Northwestern University), and Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant (Williams College).

During the week of the online froum, Black Perspectives will publish new blog posts every day at 5:30AM EST. Please follow Black Perspectives (@BlkPerspectives) and AAIHS (@AAIHS) on Twitter, like AAIHS on Facebook, or subscribe to our blog for updates. By subscribing to Black Perspectives, each new post will automatically be delivered to your inbox during the week of the roundtable.

About the Participants

Ahmad Greene-Hayes is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Religion at Princeton University. His research interests include 19th and 20th-century Africana and African American religious histories, Black South Studies, and Black Queer Studies. His dissertation is a religious history of Black transnationalism, African American religions, and migrations between the Circum-Caribbean and New Orleans from 1915-1954. A current Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, he is the past recipient of fellowships and awards from the Mellon Mays Foundation, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Creating Connections Consortium (C3) at Columbia University, and the Political Theology Network. Ahmad is a writer and his public commentary on issues of race, gender, sexuality, Black politics and religion have appeared in The Black Scholar, Ebony, The Root, The Feminist Wire, The Huffington Post, Open Democracy and News One, among many other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @_BrothaG.

Ambre Dromgoole is a PhD student in the Departments of Religious Studies and African American Studies at Yale University. She graduated from Oberlin College & Conservatory in 2015 with a BA in Musical Studies and Religion. She then obtained an MA in Religion from Yale Divinity School and Institute of Sacred Music with a concentration in Black Religion and the Arts. Dromgoole is interested in the convergence of Black religion and popular culture, focusing on the emergence of sonic spirituality and various musical genres from women in the Black Holiness-Pentecostal tradition. Her research intersects with the fields of African American studies; women, gender, and sexuality studies; and ethnomusicology. Follow her on Twitter @AmbreLynae.

James Howard Hill, Jr. is an interdisciplinary doctoral candidate in the Department of Religion at Northwestern who is also pursuing a graduate certificate in African American Studies. His research engages a wide range of critical paradigms from Black studies, sound studies, and theology to popular culture, performance studies, and the relationship between US religious culture and media. By working within these discursive paradigms, his research primarily focuses on the relationship between religion, Black politics, and popular culture in the post-civil-rights era. He is the past recipient of fellowships and awards from the Forum for Theological Education, The Louisville Institute, Northwestern’s Social Science Research Council (SSRC), as well as Northwestern University’s Mellon Cluster Fellowship for Promising Research in Comparative Race and Diaspora studies. His public commentary on issues of race, popular music, sports, Black politics, and religion have appeared in Black Agenda Report, The Syndicate, Urban Cusp, and The Huffington Post, among other outlets.

Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies and a Faculty Affiliate in Religion at Williams College. After completing her undergraduate education at Duke University, she received a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a PhD in Religion from Emory’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. A proud native of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, she navigates the academy as a scholar-artist, where she merges her life as a musician and filmmaker with her interdisciplinary specializations in Religious Studies, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies, all with a focus on ethnographic methods. She is the author of Talking to the Dead: Religion, Music, and Lived Memory among Gullah/Geechee Women (Duke University Press, 2014) and is currently working on her second, single-authored monograph entitled Pushing Weight: Religion, Popular Culture, and the Implications of Image, which utilizes film theory, womanist/Black feminist thought, and ethnographic data to examine how popular culture and contemporary media forms simultaneously influence mass interpretations of the Black female “religious” body. Follow her on Twitter @DoctorRMB.

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