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About Elizabeth McAlister

Elizabeth McAlister is Professor of Religion, and also teaches in American Studies and African American Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in 1995 from Yale in American Studies with expertise in Afro-Caribbean religions. Her first book is Rara! Vodou, Power, and Performance in Haiti and its Diaspora (University of California Press, 2002). Her second book is a volume co-edited with Henry Goldschmidt that theorizes race and religion as linked constructs: Race, Nation, and Religion in the Americas (Oxford University Press, 2004).
McAlister has published Rara, numerous articles and book chapters and produced three compilations of Afro-Haitian religious music: Rhythms of Rapture (Smithsonian Folkways, 1995), Angels in the Mirror, and the CD Rara that accompanies her first book.
McAlister is currently writing on the interactions between American evangelicals in the Spiritual Mapping movement and the nation of Haiti. She works to understand what she terms "aggressive forms of prayer."
Professor McAlister curates a learning website on Haitian rara festivals at
For further information her faculty website is


Present Professor of Religion, Wesleyan University

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  • Black Religions in the Americas
  • Religion and Race

Contact Information

Middletown, CT 06459-0029
Tel: (860) 685-2289
Fax: (860) 685-2821

Articles in Journals (9)

Recent Works (1)

Chapters in Edited Volumes (11)