VISITING SCHOLARS

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Dr. Obery Hendricks has been called one of the most provocative and innovative commentators on the intersection of religion, politics and social policy in America today. A widely sought lecturer and media spokesperson, Dr. Hendricks’ media appearances include C-SPAN, PBS, National Public Radio, al-Jazeera Television, NHK Japan Television, Air-America, Radio One, Fox News, the Bloomberg Network, among others. He is a member of the Faith Advisory Council of the Democratic National Committee, a member of the National Religious Leaders Advisory Committee of the Barack Obama presidential campaign.

 
An Affiliated Scholar at the Center for American Progress (a Washington, DC think-tank) and a featured writer for Godspolitics.com and Faithfuldemocrats.com. He is also an editorial advisor to the award-winning Tikkun magazine, a contributing editor to The Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, and a principal commentator in the The Oxford Annotated Bible. “Essential reading for Americans” is what The Washington Post called Dr. Hendricks’ most recent book, The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted. Social critic Michael Eric Dyson describes it as “an instant classic” that “immediately thrusts Dr. Hendricks into the front ranks of American religious thinkers.” The Politics of Jesus was the featured subject of the C-SPAN program “Class, Politics and Christianity.” The Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation calls Hendricks’ postmodern “guerrilla” approach to biblical discourse “the boldest post-colonial writing ever seen in Western biblical studies.”
 

A former Wall Street investment executive and past president of Payne Theological Seminary, the oldest African American theological seminary in the United States, Dr. Hendricks is Emeritus Professor of Biblical Interpretation at New York Theological Seminary. He holds the Master of Divinity with academic honors from Princeton Theological Seminary, and both the M.A. and Ph.D. in Religions of Late Antiquity from Princeton University.


Carmen P. Thompson, PhD is an adjunct instructor of Black Studies and African American History at Portland State University and at Portland Community College.  Since 2009, Dr. Thompson has taught a wide range of courses on the Black experience, including American slavery, Black feminism, and race and racism.  In 2004, Dr. Thompson obtained a Master’s of Arts from the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University.  Her master’s thesis, “The Black Beauty Shop: A Discourse on Ritual, Identity, and the Communicative Aspects of Black Hair,” received the Zora Neale Hurston Award for Excellence in Writing. 
 
Dr. Thompson received her PhD in U.S. History from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Her dissertation, directed by Dr. David Roediger, is entitled “‘20. and odd Negroes’: Virginia and the International System of Slavery, 1619-1660.”  This study demonstrates, using a wide range of sources, including county court records (deeds, orders, and wills), estate inventories, statutes, and letters, that Virginia had integrated into the international system of slavery earlier than most historians have suggested, influencing not only its commitment to slavery but also its adoption of Whiteness.  
 
The research from Dr. Thompson’s dissertation provides the historical context for her current book project, tentatively entitled American Whiteness, which argues that the contemporary notion of Whiteness (supremacy and privilege) and its cousin, institutional racism, dates back to settlement in the early seventeenth century.  The book will explore the evolution of Whiteness through White rebellions, protests, and revolutions, including Bacon’s Rebellion, abolitionism, Vietnam War protests, and Trump supporters.  A selected list of Dr. Thompson’s publications is outlined below.  
 
Dr. Thompson’s other research interests include the history of slavery and the slave trade in the New World and Pre-colonial West Africa, early African American history, race and ethnicity in early America, and the Great Migration.    
 
 
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:

  • Article: “Life in Africa.” in Thomson Gale’s Gale Library of Daily Life: Slavery in America, I, II (December 2007).
  • Article: “Capture,” in Thomson Gale’s Gale Library of Daily Life: Slavery in America, I, II (December 2007).
  • Article: “The Middle Passage” in Thomson Gale’s Gale Library of Daily Life: Slavery in America, I, II (December 2007).
  • Book Review of Jeff Forret’s, Race Relations at the Margins: Slaves and Poor Whites in the Antebellum Southern Countryside. Journal of African American History 92, no. 3 (Summer 2007): 433-35.
  • Article: “Introduction to Whiteness" and "Histories of Whiteness." In Toward a Bibliography of Whiteness, edited by Tim Engles. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006.
  • The Race Riot of 1930. Portland: McNeal Publishing Co., 2002.