Timothy Landry, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Office: Minard Hall 428D10
Ph.D., Sociocultural Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013
M.A., Anthropology, University of Houston, 2005
B.S., Anthropology, University of Houston, 2001
I am a socio-cultural anthropologist who works in the global West African religious world. Drawing on both anthropology and religious studies, I have collaborated with Vodún and orisa worshipers in coastal West Africa (Bénin and Nigeria) and with practitioners of Vodou in Haiti and Lucumí (Santería) in the United States. In my research, I seek to understand broadly the ways in which media, technology, postcolonial literature, film, material culture, and political-economics all encourage the globalization and transnationalism West African religious traditions and their derivatives as new African diasporas are formed around the globe.
My current research project, Seeking Divine Power, attends specifically to the ways in which the globalization of Vodún (Bénin) is encouraged by the formation of transnational religious-based markets, global media, and international spiritual tourism. I take special interest in how religious secrecy and material culture is commodified and mobilized by both Béninois Vodún practitioners and foreign spiritual seekers who seek to authenticate and legitimize the transnational migration of West African religious practices and ideologies as new diasporas are formed in the U.S. and Europe.
Research and Teaching Interests
Theoretical/Topical Interests: African diaspora heritage studies; religious studies; transnationalism/globalization, tourism; social politics, representation; secrecy, ritual, ceremony, magic, spirit possession; intangible and religious cultural heritage; research methods, multi-sited ethnography, apprenticeship-as-method, and ethnographic writing.
Regional Interests: Global West Africa / African Atlantic, coastal West Africa (especially Bénin and Nigeria), African diasporas, Afro-Caribbean (especially Cuba and Haiti), and Afro-Europe.