Dr. Marla F. Frederick joined the faculty in the fall of 2019 as the Acting Professor of Religion and Culture and will be formally installed in January 2020. Frederick comes to Candler from Harvard University, where she served as professor of African and African American studies and the study of religion.

A leading ethnographer, she employs an interdisciplinary approach to examine the overlapping spheres of religion, race, gender, media, politics and economics. Her teaching interests encompass the anthropology of religion and the African American religious experience, and her ongoing research interests include the study of religion and media, religion and economics, and the sustainability of black institutions in a 'post-racial' world. She is the author of four books and several articles. Most recently, she co-authored Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment (NYU Press, 2016), which examines how black Christians, Muslims, and Hebrew Israelites use media for the “redemption” of the race.

A frequent lecturer, she has been an active convener, panelist, respondent or discussant at nearly 70 academic events across her career and is a respected research collaborator. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Milton Fund, the Louisville Institute, and the Ford Foundation, among others. She currently serves as the vice president of the American Academy of Religion, the world’s largest association of scholars in religious studies and related fields.