Jualynne Dodson

Jualynne   Dodson
  • Professor
  • Department of Sociology
  • PhD University of California-Berkeley, 1985
  • 300 Berkey Hall
  • 509 E. Circle Drive
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • 517-432-8668


Jualynne E. Dodson earned the PhD in Sociology of Religion from the University of California, Berkeley.  She is Full Professor of Sociology and African American & African Studies at Michigan State University (MSU) where she was recruited to be the John Hannah Distinguished Visiting Professor.  Subsequently, the University invited Dodson to be a tenured member of the faculty where she regularly teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Classical Theory, Qualitative Research Methods, Contemporary Communities, Developing Society, and Migration and the African Diaspora.  Professor Dodson also is the founding director of the Award Winning African Atlantic Research Team that accompanied her recruitment to MSU.  The Team is preparing to celebrate its 25th, Silver Anniversary as a mentoring collective.

Dodson has authored numerous journal articles, encyclopedia inclusions, book chapters, and her book publications include: Religion, Culture and Spirituality in Africa and the African Diaspora; Engendering Church: Women, Power, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church; Sacred Spaces: Religious Traditions of Oriente Cuba, and Afro-Centric Education: Toward a Non-Deficit Perspective in Services to Families & Children.  She is regularly invited to consult and speak nationally as well as internationally, including the United Nation’s Education Scientific and Cultural Organization’s selection of her research on Cuba’s distinct religions to be included in their conference on, “Intangible Heritage, Sharing Cultures” held in Portugal’s Atlantic Ocean Azores Islands.

Amid her accomplishments, Dodson is exceptionally proud of organizing the African Atlantic Research Team (AART) and guiding undergraduate and graduate students, as well as community members, through some 25 years of exciting, critical forward thinking, challenging academic research, teaching, and writing.  More than a dozen persons of color have completed post-graduate higher education, including terminal Masters Degrees and Ph.Ds.  Team members also have earned such awards in academic excellence as Cum Laude diplomas, Phi Beta Kappa membership, Marshall Fellowship for two years of study in Great Britain, and ‘Deans List’ graduation.  Significantly, African American men are well represented in ARRT’s statistic of zero percent attrition rate, 0% with only one student of more than thirty Team members did not complete the Bachelor’s degree.  The Team’s accomplishments are exceptional and not proportionately achieved in most U.S. colleges and universities.

Pivotal to AART’s work is a commitment to the highest standards of academic excellence, liberation of African and other oppressed people, discerning perspectives that reflect continued integrity and validity of African descendants’ lives, and working with others for inclusive justice.  The Team exemplifies this commitment in its research, teaching, writing, and mentoring.  Dodson perceives that her grand-mother, who helped her ‘catch sense’ in Pensacola, Florida and her mother, who expanded the realm of possibilities for Jualynne in California, would both be proud of this ‘not so young’ woman.


Africa descendentants' practices of Africa-inspired religious behavior in the Americas


  • African American & African Studies


“Ya’ Need the African Diaspora to Know Black Church Building: Mt. Sinai Holy Church in Cuba in The Americas’ Portion of the African Diaspora,” accepted for publication, Racialization and Black Health: Transatlantic Social and Religious Perspectives. R. Drew Smith, Stephanie C. Boddie, Bertis English and Gosnell Yorke, eds. Oxford, UK:Routledge Press.

“Charles H. Long- Intellectual Godfather to the African Atlantic Research Team and Cuba’s Distinct Religions,” 2020. With this Root About My Person: Charles H. Long and New Directions in the Study of Religion J. Reid and D. Carrasco, eds. Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press.

 “Epistemological and philosophical roots of African Descendants,” 2020. Religions, Worldviews and Afro-Latin American and Caribbean Theologies: Contemporary Reflections José Mario Méndez ed. Costa Rica

“Black Theology Project: Organizational Gift, Intellectual Apparatus – Legacy of Dr. James Cone,” Journal of Africana Religions. DOI: 10.5325/jafrireli.7.2.2019.0273 https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/jafrireli.7.2.2019.0273.

“The African Diaspora: Religious Practices,” A. Possamai & A. J. Blasi (Eds.), The SAGE International encyclopedia of sociology of religion. London, United Kingdom: SAGE.

Religion, Culture and Spirituality in Africa and the African Diaspora, Editors; William Ackah, Jualynne Dodson and Drew Smith, Routledge Press, Studies in Religion Series;

 “Church Women’s Legacy of Power: U.S. African Methodist,” Religion, Culture and Spirituality in Africa and the African Diaspora, Routledge Press, Studies in Religion Series;

“Contextualizing Women and Distinct Religious Practices in Oriente Cuba,” in New Frontiers in the Study of the Global African Diaspora: Between Unchartered Themes and Alternative Representations, Michigan State University Press.

Contextualizing Women and Distinct Religious Practices in Oriente Cuba,” in New Frontiers in the Study of the Global African Diaspora: Between Unchartered Themes and Alternative Representations, Michigan State University Press.

“So Just What is “Diaspora” in The Conversation, http://theconversation.com/record-high-global-migration-may-give-new-meaning-to-diaspora-59365 

“Neighborhood, Festival, and Ethnography - The African Diaspora in the Americas: Extended Review Comparative Essay” for Transforming Anthropology. -- Volumes reviewed; Inside El Barrio: A Bottom-Up View of Neighborhood Life in Castro’s Cuba by Henry Louis Taylor, Jr. Sterling, VA: Kumarian Press: Kings for Three Days: The Play of Race and Gender in an Afro-Ecuadorian Festival by Jean Muteba Rahier; and The Cooking of History: How Not to Study Afro-Cuban Religion by Stephan Palmié. Chicago, IL, and London, UK: The University of Chicago Press.

“Cuba’s Distinct Religious Traditions” in The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd edition, edited by George Ritzer. Maiden, Oxford: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

Transforming Research & Academic Thinking, Harriette Pipes McAdoo: An Intellectual Biography, Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Edition

“On Roy Bryce LaPorte, Women, Power and Church: A Research Scholar Meets the African Diaspora in the Caribbean.” Wadabagei, Journal of the Caribbean, October.

“Qualitative Field Research – Methods and Theory,” Method(e)s African Social Sciences Methodology/Revue africaine de méthodlogie des sciences sociales, Journal, Council Development Social Science Research in Africa: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23754745.2015.1017292

Montgomery, B.L., J. E. Dodson and *S. M. Johnson, “Guiding the Way: Mentoring Graduate Students and Junior Faculty for Sustainable Academic Careers.” SAGE Open (October-December), doi: 10.1177/2158244014558043.