New Faculty: Dr. Xavier Pickett

Dr. Xavier Pickett

Assistant Professor, Africana Studies

Academic focus: 

Africana religions, theories and methods of religion, Black and womanist theologies, ethics (and what some call) moral philosophy, political theory/philosophy, emotions and affect theory (and what some call) moral psychology, pragmatism, aesthetics, new religious movements, sociology and social theory, African American philosophy, science and technology, and Black radicalism (and what some call) nationalism

Current research project:  

I am currently writing a book about the (re)making of Black religious radicalism in the 20th and 21st centuries, “Black Irreligious: James Cone and the Affect and Aesthetics of Black Religious Radicalism.”

Previous positions:  

  • Visiting Research Scholar, Department of Religion, Columbia University, 2022-2023 
  • Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and Africana Studies Program, North Carolina State University, 2020-2023
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, New York University, 2018-2020  
  • Lecturer, Department of African American & African Studies, University of Virginia, 2018
  • Lecturer, Department of African American Studies, Princeton University, 2014-2016 

Academic background:  

  • Ph.D., Religion and society, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2018  
  • Th.M., Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2010 
  • M.Div., Systematic theology, Westminster Theological Seminary, 2008 
  • B.B.A., Marketing, Georgia State University, 2003 

Last book read: 

“Blackwater: Historical Studies in Race, Class Consciousness, and Revolution” by Manning Marable

In your own time/when not working: 

Wait?! Own time? Not working? When I can steal time these days, I’ve been working my way – slowly – through “classic” Sci-Fi films.   

Courses you’re most looking forward to teaching: 

I’m most looking forward to (re)introducing African American religions to the curriculum.  

What most excites you about Cornell: 

I’m most excited about contributing to the intellectual life of the birthplace of Africana studies and collaborative opportunities with STEM colleagues.  

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Dr. Xavier Pickett