AAR Member Spotlight

Amaryah Armstrong

Amaryah Armstrong is an assistant professor of race in American religion and culture at Virginia Tech. Her research cuts across the fields of black studies, American studies, political theology, and continental philosophy of religion to explore the relationship between religion and the reproduction of race in the aftermath of 1492. Currently, she’s working on one project that examines “how theologies of peoplehood operate as reproductive technologies in the formation and preservation of antiblack political theologies;” and another project that “develops a critical rereading of James Cone’s announcement of black theology in light of theories of blackness and value, racial capitalism, and theological accounts of economy.” Armstrong has been an AAR member since 2010 and is currently on the steering committee for the Black Theology program unit.

Why did you get involved with AAR and how is your work aligned?

I got involved with the AAR when I was a first year masters student in theological studies. FTE, the Forum for Theological Exploration (then, the Fund for Theological Education), provided a scholarship to attend with a cohort of other burgeoning scholars. It was a great event and I still see many of the other attendees at more recent annual meetings.

What is your area of expertise or field of study?

I would say my areas of expertise and fields of study are quite interdisciplinary. Black studies, theological studies, and cultural studies are the general fields I work within, whereas black feminist theory, political theology, and literary studies are some of my foundational areas of expertise.

How has AAR been beneficial to you and your career?

AAR is a place where I've been able to connect with numerous scholars who have sometimes also become friends. I would say getting to see and continue cultivating relationships with people I don't regularly get to see is always very rewarding. I've never been a "networking" type of person, but just by following my interests and people I connected with, I feel like I am able to have a really diverse group of thinkers in my intellectual universe, for which I'm very grateful.

What book is on your nightstand that you're reading or intend to read in the future?

The Interpreter by Suki Kim

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy woodworking and music production.

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This feature is devoted to profiling AAR members making waves in their departments, institutions, and communities—as well as AAR at large!

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