Paul Christopher Johnson
Fellow: Awarded 2008
Field of Study: Religion
Competition: US & Canada
Paul Johnson is director of the doctoral program in Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His areas of study include the African Diaspora
in Brazil and the Caribbean, research on race, religion, and migration, and the modern
history of Brazil. Mr. Johnson has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to work
on his forthcoming book, To Be Possessed: “Religion” and the Purification of Spirits,
a study of religion and exorcism in colonial America.
Mr. Johnson was born in Chicago and received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1997. He served as a professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia before joining the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2004. He has also received fellowships from the Ford Foundation Residency at Princeton University, and from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
His books include Secrets, Gossip, and Gods: The Transformation of Brazilian Condomblé (Oxford UP, 2002), which received a Best Book Award from the American Academy of Religion, and Diaspora Conversions: Black Carib Religion and the Recovery of Africa
(U of California P, 2007). He has also published articles in Law and Social Inquiry,
History of Religions, Numen, and Religion, Terror, and Violence: Religious Studies Perspectives (ed. Bryan Rennie and Philip L. Tite, Routledge, 2008).