Michael Brandon McCormack

Dr. Michael Brandon McCormack is Associate Professor of Pan-African Studies and Comparative Humanities (Religious Studies) at the University of Louisville. He earned his Ph.D. in 2013 from the Vanderbilt University Graduate Department of Religion, where he was also a Fellow in the Program in Theology and Practice.

His research explores the intersections between Black religion, popular culture, the arts, and activism. He teaches courses in African American religion, religions of the African diaspora, and religion and hip-hop culture.

His work has been published in Black Theology: An International Journal, the Journal of Africana Religions, and as book chapters in numerous scholarly journals and edited volumes; most recently in the inaugural volume of the Morehouse College King Collection Series on Civil & Human Rights. As a recent faculty fellow at the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society at the University of Louisville, his most recent research has focused on the relationships between discourses of “afro-pessimism,” “Black optimism,” and notions of “Black joy” as resistance.

Dr. McCormack is also a frequent speaker and lecturer, having been invited to speak at a range of institutions of higher educations, from Historically Black Colleges and Universities like Houston Tillotson University to elite private institutions such as Harvard University. But he finds his deepest joy in speaking well beyond the ivory tower at churches, public schools, community centers, and other places where everyday folks are gathered and engaged in collective meaning-making.

To see Dr. McCormack’s CV, click here