Eric Montgomery

Eric Montgomery

Faculty
Assistant Professor at MSU (anthropology)

313-577-3453

313-577-3030 (fax)

af3939@wayne.edu

Peace and Conflict Studies
656 W. Kirby
2323 Faculty Administration Bldg
Detroit, MI 48202

Curriculum vitae

Website(s)

clas.wayne.edu/CPCS

culanth.org/fieldsights/1097-socializing-through-technology-pokemon-go-in-downtown-detroit

culanth.org/fieldsights/1097-socializing-through-technology-pokemon-go-in-downtown-detroit

Social media

www.linkedin.com/in/eric-montgomery-phd-ab3a9024/

Media

Eric Montgomery

Department

Center for Peace and Conflict Studies

Eric J. Montgomery, cultural anthropologist

Eric J. Montgomery, Ph.D., is a cultural anthropologist and assistant professor (Fixed Term) at Michigan State University where he serves as an adviser in Peace and Justice studies. He is a faculty member at Wayne State and Central Michigan Universities, as well. He researches anthropology of religion, political economy, and globalization in Western Africa. The crux of his research is among the Ewe people of Ghana, Togo, and Benin in West Africa. Other research interests include activist anthropology, applied anthropology, peace and conflict studies, human rights, and global health.

He is co-producer and director of two films on Ewe religion and medicine: Chasing the Spirit (2012) and African Herbsmen (2013), both available on Amazon (see Baier, 2016) and distributed by "Art Films" Australia (https://www.artfilms.com.au/search?s=Montgomery+and+Vannier). These are both available for check-out at the WSU library. He is co-author of the book “Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine in Southern Togo” with CN Vannier (BRILL Publishers: April 2017). His newly edited book "Shackled Sentiments: Spirits, Slaves, and Memories in the African Diaspoara was released in 2019 from Rowman and Littlefield. His newly co-edited and co-authored book is "Global Vodou and Vodun" forthcoming from Indiana University Press. In 2019 he has published articles with ETropic, Sapiens, The Public Anthropologist. For 2020, Montgomery continues projects with Journal of Religion in Africa, Museum Anthropology, Oxford Research Encyclopedia, and Revue Caribe.. Other. Recent research can be found in The Shaman, The Applied Anthropologist, Journal of Religion and Society, Journal of Africana Religions, Visual Anthropology, Journal of Ritual Studies, American Ethnologist, Journal of Ritual Studies, Anthropology News, and more. Other work can be found at www.culturerealm.com.

His current work involves constructing a screenplay called "Mami Wata:Sacred Feminine" which mixes ethnographic film and magical realism to tackle environmental, social, racial, and economic justice issues throughout the African Diaspora. This film is to be directed by Indrani Pal-Chauduri and is being co-written by Professor's Nwando Achebe and Folu Ogundimu from Michigan State University. Eric currently is writing grants to fund a "Culture and Peace Lab" at Wayne State through the Peace Center and is just completed a Lentz Peace Fellowship in the Center. In 2019 Eric served as a convener and organizer for the 2nd Annual Rotary Peace in the Streets conference hold in Detroit and Windsor in late 2019, he is working on a 3rd international conference for Ann Arbor in 2021.. In 2019, Dr. Montgomery delivered a Keynote Address at James Madison University "Migrating Black Spirits adn Bodies" for their 9th annual Africa and African Diaspora confernece. While in April he organized a conference called "Beyond Fear and Hate" at Temple Beth El which included a keynote from a representative from the Southern Poverty Law Center and focused on current manifestations of hate, namely: Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other acts of hatred toward people of color. He also delivered a featured speech at UPENN in December of 2020 in a panel on "Mass Shooters and Toxic Masculinity" with Parkland Survivor Samantha Fuentes. For 2020, he is set to Chair a Panel at the American Anthropological Association on social justice and ethnology. 

Eric has been teaching courses at Wayne State University for nearly 20 years across four different departments. Dr. Montgomery has taught multiple courses for the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Honors College, and Anthropology departments while at Wayne State University. This includes Ant 3520 Africa, City 1 and 2 (Honors), Political Science 1010; PCS 2000: Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies (online and on-site), PCS 6010: Introduction to Graduate Peace and Security Studies, and multiple PCS 2010/5100 (special topics) courses. Such special topics were taught both online and on-site and include the following topics: 1) Medicine, Conflict, and Culture in Contemporary Africa, 2) West African Politics and Culture, 3) African Conflicts, Medicine, and Rituals, 4) Global Public Health Policy and Conflict, 5) Non-violence, 6) Social Movements, 7) Critical Race Studies, and 8) Human Trafficking, 9) Science, Technology and War, and 10) Climate change (with Professor Emeritus Alving Saperstein (coming Winter 2020). At Michigan Sate University Montgomery is teaching "Peace and Justice Studies" and "Social Movements" as well as "Human Rights". For WSU in 2020-21 he will be co-teaching courses with Physicist Alvin Saperstein (Climate Change / Science Technology and War). You can also take is PCS Intro and PCS 2010 Human Trafficking. See you all soon!

Books

  • 2020 Spirit Service in Global Vodu(n), (Book) Indiana University Press, Co-Editor and Contributor, [Forthcoming].
  • 2019 Shackled Sentiments: Spirits, Slaves, and Memory in the African Diaspora, (Book), Rowman and Littlefield / Lexington Books, Editor and Contributor, [In Press 2/2019].
  • 2017 Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine in Southern Togo: Of Spirit, Slave, and Sea. With CN Vannier. (Book) BRILL Publications: Religion in Africa series 2017: 46. http://www.brill.com/products/book/ethnography-vodu-shrine-southern-togo

Recent publications in academic journals and book chapters

  • 2019 “Crossing Currents: Gorovodu and Yewevodu in Contemporary Togo”, in Spirit Service in Global Vodu(n), (Chapter 10), Indiana University Press, Edited by Montgomery, Vannier, and Landry, [Forthcoming].
  • 2019 “The Past in Present: Slavery, Personhood, and Mimesis in Ewe Gorovodu and Mama Tchamba” in Shackled Sentiments: Spirits, Slaves, and Memory in the African Diaspora. (Chapter 4), Rowman and Littlefield / Lexington Books, Edited by Eric J. Montgomery
  • 2020 “Anthropology and Peace and Conflict”, with E. Drexler, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of
  • of Anthropology, Forthcoming.
  • 2019 “Missing Vodun: Questions of Yoruba Supremacy and Authenticity in the African
  • Diaspora”, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, forthcoming.
  • 2019 “Gothic ‘Voodoo’ in Africa and Haiti”, ETropic, Vol 18:1, 2019. DOI:
  • http://dx.doi.org/10.25120/etropic.18.1.2019.
  • 2019 “Anthropology and Problems of Countering Violent Extremism in Africa”, Public Anthropology,
  • Online, May 2019 (blog).
  • 2019 “1967 Detroit Rebellion: In the Museum”, Forthcoming in Museum Anthropology, Revise and
  • Resubmit.
  • 2019 “Anthropology, Activism, and the Transformative Power of Vodu in Togolese Politics”, Journal of
  • Religion in Africa, (revise and resubmit).
  • 2019 “Human Trafficking as a Global and Public Health Problem”, (book chapter), Cambridge University Press, Edited by Izzeldin Abuelaish, [Forthcoming].
  • 2018 "Why Detroit 1967 Still Matters", Belt Magazine, 11/2/2018; https://beltmag.com/detroit-67-rebellion-matters-now/
  • 2018 “Countering Violent Extremism in Africa and the Need for Activist Anthropology”, book chapter, HORN Institute, In Changing Dynamics of Terrorism in Africa
  • (Book Review) of "Working the System: A Political Ethnography of Angola", in American Ethnologist, Vol 45: 4 (November)
  • 2018 “They Died in Blood: Morality and Communitas in Ewe Ritual.” Journal of Ritual Studies, 32:1 (IN PRESS)
  • 2017 “Visual Voodoo: Photo-Voice and Participatory Film-making in Togo.” Visual
  • Anthropology, 30:4, pp 287-309
  • 2016 “Shamanism and Voodoo: The Life and Acts of Sofo Bisi.” Shaman Journal, Volume 24:1 (2016).
  • 2016 “Syncretism in Vodu and Orisha: An Anthropological Analysis.” Journal of Religion and Society, Volume 18:1 (2016).
  • 2016 “Sacred Slaves: Tchamba Vodu in Southern Togo,” Journal of Africana Religions, Volume 4:1, pp. 104-127(2016) (with CN Vannier).
  • 2015 “The Materia Medica of Vodu Practitioners in Southern Togo,” The Applied Anthropologist, Vol. 1: 31-39 (2015) (with CN Vannier)
  • 2012 “Activist Anthropology” in Anthropology News, January 2012
  • 2011 “Rock to the Beat,” documentary film about Detroit Electronic Music Festival PBS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Producer (www.culturerealm.com)

Ethnographic films and multi-media projects

  • 2018 The Cow Sacrifice, Tchamba Slave Spirit Vodu, Sakpata Shrine. (short films)
  • Available on www.culturerealm.com.
  • 2017 Socializing through Technology: Poke Mon Go in Downtown Detroit. Podcast.
  • In Cultural Anthropology, April 11. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/1097-socializing-through-technology-pokemon-go-in-downtown-detroit
  • 2013 African Herbsmen: Healing and Religion along the Bight of Benin,
  • [2012] (37 minutes/Film), Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/African-Herbsmen-Healing-Religion-
  • 2012 Radio interview on WDET-Detroit with Craig Fahle. Chasing the Spirit: Cool
  • Documentary from EJ Montgomery. http://archives.wdet.org/shows/craig-fahle-show/episode/chasing-the-spirit-documentary-gorovodu/
  • 2012 Chasing the Spirit: Gorovodu in Southern Togo, [2012] (67 minutes), Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Spirit-Gorovodu-Southern

Magazine and website articles

  • 2019 “The Very Modern Problem of Human Slavery”, Sapiens, June 27, https://www.sapiens.org/culture/modern-problem-human-slavery/
  • 2019 “Anthropology, Activism and the Problem of Countering Violent Extremism in Africa”, The Public Anthropologist, Online, May 2019, http://publicanthropologist.cmi.no/2019/05/12/anthropology-activism-and-the-problem-of-countering-violent-extremism-in-africa/
  • 2019 “African Traditional Religion Demystified!” on Afrikan Heritage Website. February 3, 2019, http://www.afrikanheritage.com/african-traditional-religions-demystified/
  • 2018 “Why Detroit 67’ Matters,” Belt Magazine. https://beltmag.com/detroit-67-rebellion-matters-now

Book and film reviews

  • 2019 [Book Review] “Vodún. Secrecy and the Search for Divine Power”, African Studies Review, forthcoming
  • 2019 [Book Review] “African Science: Witchcraft, Vodun and Healing in Southern Benin”, Journal of Religion in Africa, forthcoming
  • 2019 [Book Review] “Religion and Faith in Africa: Confessions of an Animist”, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, vol 54:1, forthcoming
  • 2018 [Book Review] “Working the System: A Political Ethnography of the New Angola”, American Ethnologist, vol 45:4, Nov, 2018
  • 2017 [Book Review] “Beyond Religious Tolerance.” American Ethnologist, Volume 44:3

Book reviews of my works

  • 2018 [Book Review by Tim Landry] of Ethnography of a Vodun Shrine in Southern Togo, Journal of Religion in Africa, (December 10)
  • 2018 [Book Review by Stephen Glazer] of Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine in Southern Togo, T and F Online Religion, May 15, 2018
  • 2018 [Book Review by Douglas J. Falen] of Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine in Southern Togo, AmericanEthnologist, 45:2 (May 2018)
  • 2016 Chasing the Spirit (FILM REVIEW by Randy Baier); Comparative Studies in Society and History,Cambridge: Volume 58: 3, (July 2016)

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Globalization, anthropology of religion, social justice, africa, vodu(n), applied anthropology, peace and conflict 

Research

My recent teaching experience expands the gamut of Anthropology. At the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Wayne State University, I act as an assistant director planning events, writing grants, and mentoring students and Visiting Scholars, I also teach courses in Global Health, Peacemaking, Conflict Resolution, Human Trafficking and African Medicine and Ritual. At College for Creative Studies, I have facilitated graduate courses in Business Anthropology, Urban Anthropology, and Cultural Anthropology. On occasion, I continue to teach Anthropology of Africa and Anthropology of Religion for the Anthropology department at Wayne State University as well. This Fall and Winter I am teaching Anthropology of Africa at Central Michigan University. From 2006-2014 I worked as a Senior Lecturer in the Irvin D. Reid Honors College and in the Anthropology department at Wayne State University in inner-city Detroit, while there, all classes included a service learning component and applied group projects. My teaching philosophy involves cultural relativity, holism, and the power of culture. Recently I have been modifying my pedagogical approach to involve: ethnography, service learning, cultural passports, flip videos, and community engagement. My courses range from cultural anthropology and ethnography at the undergraduate level to anthropology of design and global security at the graduate level. My research is on Ewes people of Ghana and Togo in West Africa with a focus on political-economy, ritual, and the anthropology of religion. Recently I directed two ethnographic films on Ewe culture and the past year I have published more than six articles in Anthropology, Africana Studies, and Religion journals. My colleague and I (CN Vannier) just finished a book from BRILL Press, Of Spirit, Slave and Sea: Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine in Southern Togo (2017). My new projects involve "Vodu as a peace movement", "The Culture and Peace Labs in Africa," and a new film called "Global Voodoo" spanning more than 40 years of footage from my home village in Togo.

Current research

My current research integrates peace and justice, political-economy, anthropology of religion, and activist anthropology.

  • A new co-edited book “Global Vodun and Spirit Service” is forthcoming from Indiana University Press and involves esteemed academics on Africa and Haiti, with contributions from art historians, anthropologists, and sociologists—it will be submitted in full by September 2018
  • A second book is called “Shackled Sentiments: Slaves, Spirits, and Memories in the African Diaspora” and involves articles from Africa, to Haiti and Brazil—a contract has been signed with Rowman and Littlefield and will be submitted in full by September 2018
  • Other research involves a recent submission to The Journal of Conflict Resolution called “Countering Violent Extremism in Africa with Culture, Technology, and Conflict Resolution”
  • I am finishing up an invited chapter on Human Trafficking and Global Health for a Cambridge Press volume on Global Health edited by Izzeldin Abuelaish
  • My colleague and I are hard at work on a third film on Vodu in Togo with a focus on medicine and spirit possession
  • This past month (July 2018) has seen a positive review of our book “Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine in Southern Togo”, another book review on political ethnography in Togo, both in the American Ethnologist
  • For the Journal of Black Studies, I am completing an article on the 1967 Detroit Rebellion and collective memory and violence
  • I just completed organizing two conferences/workshops: the 2018 Ralph Bunche Summer Institute at Wayne State University, and the first “Peace in the Streets” conference with Rotary International, in both we held panels on: gun violence, dispute resolution, cultural relativity, gender equality, stereotyping, bullying, and peacemaking
  • My research integrates anthropology, conflict resolution, sociology, religion, and political economy. My specialties include interfaith dialogue, peace and technology, collective memory and violence, and the study of sub-altern and marginalized groups, namely the Ewe Vodu worshippers of Ghana and Togo, and African-Americans in Detroit and Flint, my home cities
  • My other core research involves the direction and production of documentary ethnographic films from Western Africa (Chasing the Spirit and African Herbsmen), both of which have been reviewed positively in tier one academic journals and screened internationally. Some of my shorter works can be viewed on www.culturerealm.com and YouTube
  • Another project I just submitted to ETropic is called "Gothic Voodoo" which looks at mystical elements of Vodun and Vodou and compares and contrasts them to major themes of the Gothic era
  • "Belt Magazine" will be releasing an article on "Why Detroit 1967 Rebellion Matters" in November of 2018

Education

  • Ph.D., M.A., B.A.

Awards and grants

  • 2020 Finalist for Spirit Award, National Business League (work with Minority Virtual Business Center)

     

  • 2019 Paul Harris Fellowship, Ann Arbor, MI

  • 2018-19 Community Dispute Resolution Grant from Allen Park Public Schools to train teachers on Diversity and Inclusion (ongoing)

  • 2018 Harriet and Alvin Saperstein Senior Fellow in Science and Peace, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Wayne State University

  • 2017 Union of Part-Time Faculty (UPTF)- Provost Travel Award, Wayne State University (five times)

  • 2017 Global Exchange Scholarship, US Dept. of State, Bogota, Colombia

  • 2017 Faculty of the Monty, Wayne State Student Senate (February)

  • 2016 Phi Betta Kappa “Mentor of the Year” (nominated by students); Wayne State University

  • 2016 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Grant (Flint Water Crisis) (Supervisor)

  • 2015 Principal Investigator with Rotary Club in Liberia West Africa, Ebola prevention and Vitamin C therapy (ongoing)

  • 2010-12 Presidents Distinguished Teaching Award Finalist, Wayne State University

  • 2003–04 Thomas Rumble Award Fellow, Field research Ghana, Togo; West Africa (twice)

  • 2002-03 Aswad Award, Wayne State University, Anthropology Department (twice)

  • 2002-03 Global Education Scholarship, Wayne State University, Presidents Office

  • 1998 Co-Authored grant from UAW/AFL-CIO via Clean Water Action to study Senate Bill 778 and House Bill 1462, African Growth and Opportunity Act

  • 1993 United States Student Ambassador; People to People. (Moscow State University)

Selected publications

Books

  • 2020 Spirit Service in Global Vodu(n), (Book) Indiana University Press, Co-Editor and Contributor, [Forthcoming].
  • 2019 Shackled Sentiments: Spirits, Slaves, and Memory in the African Diaspora, (Book), Rowman and Littlefield / Lexington Books, Editor and Contributor, [Forthcoming].
  • 2017 Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine in Southern Togo: Of Spirit, Slave, and Sea. With CN Vannier. (Book) BRILL Publications: Religion in Africa series 2017: 46. http://www.brill.com/products/book/ethnography-vodu-shrine-southern-togo

Publications in academic journals and book chapters

  • 2019 “Crossing Currents: Gorovodu and Yewevodu in Contemporary Togo”, in Spirit Service in Global Vodu(n), (Chapter 10), Indiana University Press, Edited by Montgomery, Vannier, and Landry, [Forthcoming].
  • 2019 “The Past in Present: Slavery, Personhood, and Mimesis in Ewe Gorovodu and Mama Tchamba” in Shackled Sentiments: Spirits, Slaves, and Memory in the African Diaspora. (Chapter 4), Rowman and Littlefield / Lexington Books, Edited by Eric J. Montgomery
  • 2019 “Human Trafficking as a Global and Public Health Problem”, (book chapter), Cambridge University Press, Edited by Izzeldin Abuelaish, [Forthcoming].
  • 2018 “Human Trafficking in Africa”, in Anthropology News, Association for Africanist Anthropology (AFAA), September (Forthcoming).
  • 2018 “An Ethnography of Memorialization: The 1967 Detroit Rebellion (50 Years Later)” [Working Paper], to be submitted to Journal of Black Studies, (9/2018)
  • 2018 “Countering Violent Extremism in Africa and the Need for Activist Anthropology”, Journal of Public Anthropology, (submitted August 11, 2018)
  • 2018 “Anthropology, Activism, and the Transformative Power of Vodu in Togolese Politics”, Journal of Religion in Africa, (submitted May 2018).
  • 2018 “They Died in Blood: Morality and Communitas in Ewe Ritual.” Journal of Ritual Studies, 32:1 (IN PRESS)
  • 2017 “Visual Voodoo: Photo-Voice and Participatory Film-making in Togo.” Visual
  • Anthropology, 30:4, pp 287-309
  • 2016 “Shamanism and Voodoo: The Life and Acts of Sofo Bisi.” Shaman Journal, Volume 24:1 (2016).
  • 2016 “Syncretism in Vodu and Orisha: An Anthropological Analysis.” Journal of Religion and Society, Volume 18:1 (2016).
  • 2016 “Sacred Slaves: Tchamba Vodu in Southern Togo,” Journal of Africana Religions, Volume 4:1, pp. 104-127(2016) (with CN Vannier).
  • 2015 “The Materia Medica of Vodu Practitioners in Southern Togo,” The Applied Anthropologist, Vol. 1: 31-39 (2015) (with CN Vannier)
  • 2012 “Activist Anthropology” in Anthropology News, January 2012
  • 2011 “Rock to the Beat,” documentary film about Detroit Electronic Music Festival PBS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Producer (www.culturerealm.com)

Ethnographic films and multi-media projects

  • 2018 The Cow Sacrifice, Tchamba Slave Spirit Vodu, Sakpata Shrine. (short films). Available on www.culturerealm.com
  • 2017 Socializing through Technology: Poke Mon Go in Downtown Detroit. Podcast. In Cultural Anthropology, April 11. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/1097-socializing-through-technology-pokemon-go-in-downtown-detroit
  • 2013 African Herbsmen: Healing and Religion along the Bight of Benin,
  • [2012] (37 minutes/Film), Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/African-Herbsmen-Healing-Religion-2012 Radio interview on WDET-Detroit with Craig Fahle. Chasing the Spirit: Cool
  • Documentary from EJ Montgomery. http://archives.wdet.org/shows/craig-fahle-show/episode/chasing-the-spirit-documentary-gorovodu/
  • 2012 Chasing the Spirit: Gorovodu in Southern Togo, [2012] (67 minutes), Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Spirit-Gorovodu-Southern

Book and Film Reviews

  • 2018 [Book Review] “Working the System: A Political Ethnography of the New Angola”, American Ethnologist, July 2018
  • 2018 [Book Review by Douglas J. Falen] of my book “Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine in Southern Togo, American Ethnologist, 45:2 (May 2018)
  • 2017 [Book Review] “Beyond Religious Tolerance.” American Ethnologist, Volume 44:3
  • 2016 Chasing the Spirit (FILM REVIEW by Randy Baier); Comparative Studies in Society and History, Cambridge: Volume 58: 3, (July 2016)

Currently teaching

  • My recent teaching experience expands the gamut of Anthropology. At the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Wayne State University, I act as an assistant director planning events, writing grants, and mentoring students and Visiting Scholars, I also teach courses in Global Health, Peacemaking, Conflict Resolution, Human Trafficking and African Medicine and Ritual. At College for Creative Studies, I have facilitated graduate courses in Business Anthropology, Urban Anthropology, and Cultural Anthropology. On occasion, I continue to teach Anthropology of Africa and Anthropology of Religion for the Anthropology department at Wayne State University as well. This Fall and Winter I am teaching Anthropology of Africa at Central Michigan University. From 2006-2014 I worked as a Senior Lecturer in the Irvin D. Reid Honors College and in the Anthropology department at Wayne State University in inner-city Detroit, while there, all classes included a service learning component and applied group projects. My teaching philosophy involves cultural relativity, holism, and the power of culture. Recently I have been modifying my pedagogical approach to involve: ethnography, service learning, cultural passports, flip videos, and community engagement. My courses range from cultural anthropology and ethnography at the undergraduate level to anthropology of design and global anthropology at the graduate level. My research is on Ewes people of Ghana and Togo in West Africa with a focus on political-economy, ritual, and the anthropology of religion. Recently I directed two ethnographic films on Ewe culture and the past year I have published more than six articles in Anthropology, Africana Studies, and Religion journals. My colleague and I just finished a book from BRILL Press, Of Spirit, Slave and Sea: Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine in Southern Togo (2017). Teaching philosophy and experience My commitment to excellence in teaching includes online, in person, and hybrid classes to undergraduate and graduate anthropology students for more than a decade. My pedagogical approach is interdisciplinary and critical, and most of my recent work is activist with innovative modes of engaging the world. For several years my courses in peace and conflict studies (human trafficking, critical race theory, global health, and social justice, are all cross-listed with Africana Studies, sociology, history, and political science). My goal is to develop students intellectually, socially, spiritually and beyond, with respect, dignity, and the pursuit of excellence In my years of experience, each classroom I ponder: How to best reach these students? Every course is a unique combination of students, who come to the classroom with different backgrounds, motivations, and intellectual capacities, all of which present different challenges for my teaching. But, each classroom, and everyone has agencies of their own. Just as the ethnographer arrives at the field site with considerable theoretical baggage and little idea what will happen next, so, too, is the classroom a combination the known and the unknown. This combination is what I find particularly enjoyable and compelling about teaching. Over the years, I have found that the classroom provides me with an opportunity to use the themes of anthropology -- holism, relativism, and the concept of culture-- as a means for transforming my students lives, facilitating their own growth as scholars and, most importantly, as people My role as facilitator, coupled with my belief that students learn best when they are actively constructing their knowledge, allows me to challenge students through different strategies. Students tackle modern issues such as terrorism, racism, and globalization, and more tedious ideas: social theory, ethnographic techniques, and community engagement. I often take a neutral stance on a topic or play Devil’s advocate, which encourages students to ask the questions that they may not be so keen to ask, let alone answer. As the facilitator, rather than the authority, I can ask the provocative questions about race and ethnicity, about gender differences, and decolonization, environmental justice, and migration. I feel very comfortable saying “I don’t know” to my students, and then offering that gap in our knowledge as a topic for future discussion: “Let’s find out”. Together, these realities form the basis of my philosophy At the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Wayne State University, my ongoing course-load includes, Social Justice, Science Technology and War, African Conflicts, Global Security, Global Health Inequities, Human Trafficking, and more the past three years. At the College for Creative Studies, I have facilitated graduate courses in Business Anthropology, Urban Anthropology, and Cultural Anthropology This year my appointment at Central Michigan University is for Anthropology of Africa, the past two years here I have instructed classes that are more than eighty percent African-American. From 2006-2014 I worked as a Senior Lecturer in the Irvin D. Reid Honors College and in the Anthropology department at Wayne State University in inner-city Detroit, while there, all classes included a service learning component and applied group projects. My teaching philosophy involves cultural relativity, holism, and the power of culture. Most importantly, teaching is my life, and it shows in my passion and energy for all things anthropological. Course load ranges from cultural anthropology and anthropology of religion at the undergraduate level to anthropology of cities and global anthropology at the graduate level. My research is on Ewes people of Ghana and Togo in West Africa with a focus on “Vodu” religion as well as political-economy, ritual, and the anthropology of religion

Courses taught

  • Anthropology of Religion
  • Cultural Anthropology / Ethnography
  • Anthropology of Peace and Conflict 
  • Anthropology Methods and Theory
  • Globalization and Global Security
    • Allied Global Health
    • Anthropology of Africa
    • Human Trafficking
    • Business Anthropology
    • Urban Anthropology
  • Science, Technology, and War
  • Peace-making

Incremental coursework

  • Human Trafficking; Global Health Inequities; Anthropology of Religion; Anthropology of Africa; Cultural Anthropology; Anthropology of Globalization; Peace and Conflict Studies; Science, Technology and War; Critical Race Studies and Social Justice Activism; Urban Anthropology; Business Anthropology; African Conflict; Indigenous Medicine and Ritual; Archaeology; City and Citizenship; Business Anthropology; Urban Anthropology (graduate)

Other qualifications directly relevant to courses taught

Panels organized and chaired

  • 2019 Keynote Address at James Madison University African and African American Interdisciplinary 9th Annual Conference (Feb 21-22) "Moving Bodies" my talk is on "Migrating Spirits in the African Diaspora." 
  • 2018 Detroit: Past, Present, and Future Symposium for WSU Sesquicentennial, October 3.
  • 2018 Human Trafficking in Detroit and the US, “Rotary Peace in the Streets”, April 2018
  • 2017 Vodu(n) Matters, Africa, Part I. 116th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington D.C.
  • 2017 Vodou Matters, Haiti, Part II. 116th Annual Meetings
  • Fieldwork
  • Current Detroit, Michigan (Remembering 1967 Detroit Rebellion). Research at Detroit Historical Museum, Walter Reuther Library, Charles Wright Museum of African History
  • Current Arusha and Moshi, Tanzania. The Culture Technology and Peace Lab Project with Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Wayne State University. Bogota, Colombia, partnership with Somos CaPAZes, NGO working on Peace Education and the Colombian Peace agreement.
  • Current Detroit, Michigan, “Understanding our Muslim Neighbors: Beyond Fear and Hate”, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies: Ongoing Grants.
  • 2016 [Podcast] “Poke-Mon Go and Gentrification in Detroit”, Cultural Anthropology [website]
  • 2016 [Sample Videos] Ethnographic Film from Togo (www.culturerealm.com; ongoing)
  • 2014 Research trip to Ouidah, Benin, and Lome, Togo, West Africa (3 months)
  • 2013 Intensive ethnographic research in southern Togo and Ghana, Western Africa; Archival, film, interview, participant-observation, focus group (3 months)
  • 2013-2015 Participant-Observation of Indian Hindu Temples in Greater-Detroit: Bharatiya and Parashakti Temples.
  • 2011 Two months of plant medicine research in Tepa, Cape Coast, Ghana (Medical Anthropology Fieldtrip).
  • 2006 Field research in Southeastern Ghana, anthropology of religion
  • 2003–05 Ethnographic field research in Southern Togo, Ghana and Benin, conducted doctoral research (18 months).
  • 2004 Fieldwork on AIDS (adherence, risk, stigma), inner city Detroit. HAART project.
  • 2002 Cotonou, Benin, West Africa. Ewe and Fon religion. Also studied French and Ewe languages at CE.BE.LA.E (Centre Les Langues Etrangeres, Cotonou, Benin).
  • 2000 Eight months of participant-observation at Freedom House, a refugee center in Southwest Detroit. (MA Thesis)

Recent lectures and co-curricular activities

  • 2019 Keynote Lecture, James Madison University, “Cross-Currents of Vodu(n) and Orisha: Spirits and Slaves in the African Diaspora”, Visiting Scholar, Africa and
  • African American Studies Department, February 21-22.
  • 2018-19 Reviewer, ongoing role, with several journals in Anthropology: Religion and Society (Berghann), American Ethnologist, and Visual Anthropology.
  • 2018 Panelist and Organizer, Detroit: Past, Present, and Future Symposium. “The
  • Kerner Commission” talk with Sen. Fred Harris. October 3, Wayne State University.
  • 2018 Organizer, Convener, Presenter, of “Peace in the Streets Conference 2018”, Detroit, Michigan, Rotary International and Wayne State University.
  • 2018 Organizer, Convener, and Keynote Speaker at Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, Wayne State University, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies.
  • 2018 “Between the Pipeline and the Sea: Vodu in Togo” at Wayne State’s Humanities Center, 2-6-2017.
  • 2018 Since 2013 I have delivered an Invited lecture at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, in a graduate Social Relationships Class (Dr. Shryock, Dr. Akin).
  • 2017 Launch of Website: www.culturerealm.com (Co-Creator/Producer)
  • 2017 Chair, “Vodu Matters Part 1: Old World,” panel for AAA’s, Washington DC.
  • 2017 Organizer, Vodou Matters Part 2: New World,” panel for AAA’s, Washington DC.
  • 2017 Book talks, “Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine,” University of Michigan, Central Michigan University, University of Michigan-Flint, Wayne State University (April/May 2017)
  • 2017 Keynote Lecture, “The Palestine/Israel Debate”, Palestinian Students for Justice, 4/5/17
  • 2017 Keynote Lecture, “Sex Trafficking from Sex Workers Perspective,” P.E.A.C.E. Journals. University of Detroit Mercy and WSU. March 20, 2017
  • 2017 Panel Organizer and Chair. International Peacemaker Awards honoring Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, CPCS, April 2017, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  • 2017 Key-note address “Crash Course on Syria: The Refugee Crisis” SOS: Students Organizing for Syria. Wayne State, University of Detroit. (January)
  • 2016 Panelist on “Dakota Pipeline Series: Human Rights Symposium”. Central Michigan University, Global Campus.
  • 2016 INVITED SESSION; American Anthropological Association, NGO’ s and Religion In Africa. “CVE in Tanzania: The Culture Technology and Peace Lab.” Minneapolis, Minnesota. November 2016
  • 2016-18 International Day of Peace and Global Peacemaker Awards, Event Organizer, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and African Students Association
  • 2016-18 Grant Writing for Center of Peace and Conflict Studies; Department of State, etc.
  • 2016-18 “Ralph Bunche Institute” for Conflict Management, Wayne State University, Leader
  • 2016 Water, People, and Human Rights: Third World Flint, Humanities Lecture, University of Detroit (June)
  • 2015 “Middle East Peace Initiative,” Dept. of State, CPCS, Wayne State University
  • 2015 “Between the Pipeline and the Sea: Globalization in Togo,” (Rockford University, Illinois: Department of Social Sciences)
  • 2013 Paper on “Ewe Syncretism and Mimesis” at American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings. Chicago, Ill, (November)
  • 2012 Film Screening of “African Herbsmen” at Wayne State University (Grosscup Archaeology Museum)
  • 2012 Premiere of film “Chasing the Spirit: Gorovodu in Southern Togo” at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Detroit, Michigan, (February)
  • 2012 International Premiere of “Chasing the Spirit: Gorovodu in Southern Togo”, at Cine 104, Paris, France (March). Info also at www.ahuefa.org
  • 2012 Lecture on African Plant Medicine. American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, San Francisco, California, USA
  • 2011 Poster Presentation on Service-Learning in Detroit. American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, Montreal, Canada

Citation index

  • Books

    • 2019 Spirit Service in Global Vodu(n), (Book) Indiana University Press, Co-Editor and Contributor, [Forthcoming].
    • 2019 Shackled Sentiments: Spirits, Slaves, and Memory in the African Diaspora, (Book), Rowman and Littlefield / Lexington Books, Editor and Contributor, [Forthcoming].
    • 2017 Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine in Southern Togo: Of Spirit, Slave, and Sea. With CN Vannier. (Book) BRILL Publications: Religion in Africa series 2017: 46. http://www.brill.com/products/book/ethnography-vodu-shrine-southern-togo
    • Publications in Academic Journals and Book Chapters
    • 2019 “Crossing Currents: Gorovodu and Yewevodu in Contemporary Togo”, in Spirit Service in Global Vodu(n), (Chapter 10), Indiana University Press, Edited by Montgomery, Vannier, and Landry, [Forthcoming].
    • 2019 “The Past in Present: Slavery, Personhood, and Mimesis in Ewe Gorovodu and Mama Tchamba” in Shackled Sentiments: Spirits, Slaves, and Memory in the African Diaspora. (Chapter 4), Rowman and Littlefield / Lexington Books, Edited by Eric J. Montgomery
    • 2019 “Human Trafficking as a Global and Public Health Problem”, (book chapter), Cambridge University Press, Edited by Izzeldin Abuelaish, [Forthcoming].
    • 2019 "CVE in Africa and the Role of Anthropology" in Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Volume 1 (HORN Instutite, Nairobi, Kenya)
    • 2018 “Human Trafficking in Africa”, in Anthropology News, Association for Africanist Anthropology (AFAA), September (Forthcoming).
    • 2018 “An Ethnography of Memorialization: The 1967 Detroit Rebellion (50 Years Later)” [Working Paper], to be submitted to Journal of Black Studies, (9/2018)
    • 2018 “Countering Violent Extremism in Africa and the Need for Activist Anthropology”, Journal of Public Anthropology, (submitted August 11, 2018)
    • 2018 “Anthropology, Activism, and the Transformative Power of Vodu in Togolese Politics”, Journal of Religion in Africa, (submitted May 2018).
    • 2018 “They Died in Blood: Morality and Communitas in Ewe Ritual.” Journal of Ritual Studies, 32:1 (IN PRESS)
    • 2017 “Visual Voodoo: Photo-Voice and Participatory Film-making in Togo.” Visual
    • Anthropology, 30:4, pp 287-309
    • 2016 “Shamanism and Voodoo: The Life and Acts of Sofo Bisi.” Shaman Journal, Volume 24:1 (2016).
    • 2016 “Syncretism in Vodu and Orisha: An Anthropological Analysis.” Journal of Religion and Society, Volume 18:1 (2016).
    • 2016 “Sacred Slaves: Tchamba Vodu in Southern Togo,” Journal of Africana Religions, Volume 4:1, pp. 104-127(2016) (with CN Vannier).
    • 2015 “The Materia Medica of Vodu Practitioners in Southern Togo,” The Applied Anthropologist, Vol. 1: 31-39 (2015) (with CN Vannier)
    • 2012 “Activist Anthropology” in Anthropology News, January 2012
    • 2011 “Rock to the Beat,” documentary film about Detroit Electronic Music Festival PBS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Producer (www.culturerealm.com)

    Ethnographic films and multi-media projects

    • 2018 The Cow Sacrifice, Tchamba Slave Spirit Vodu, Sakpata Shrine. (short films). Available on www.culturerealm.com
    • 2017 Socializing through Technology: Poke Mon Go in Downtown Detroit. Podcast. In Cultural Anthropology, April 11. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/1097-socializing-through-technology-pokemon-go-in-downtown-detroit
    • 2013 African Herbsmen: Healing and Religion along the Bight of Benin,
    • [2012] (37 minutes/Film), Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/African-Herbsmen-Healing-Religion-
    • 2012 Radio interview on WDET-Detroit with Craig Fahle. Chasing the Spirit: Cool Documentary from EJ Montgomery. http://archives.wdet.org/shows/craig-fahle-show/episode/chasing-the-spirit-documentary-gorovodu/
    • 2012 Chasing the Spirit: Gorovodu in Southern Togo, [2012] (67 minutes), Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Spirit-Gorovodu-Southern

    Book and film reviews

    Montgomery's books have been reviewed by Choice Magazine, American Ethnologist, Religion, Journal of Religion in Society, Comparative Studies in Society and History, and many more.

    • 2018 [Book Review] “Working the System: A Political Ethnography of the New Angola”, American Ethnologist, July 2018
    • 2018 [Book Review by Douglas J. Falen] of my book “Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine in Southern Togo, American Ethnologist, 45:2 (May 2018)
    • 2017 [Book Review] “Beyond Religious Tolerance.” American Ethnologist, Volume 44:3
    • 2016 Chasing the Spirit (FILM REVIEW by Randy Baier); Comparative Studies in Society and History, Cambridge: Volume 58: 3, (July 2016)

    DRAFTS submitted for 2019:

    ETropic, "Gothic Voodoo"; Public Anthropology, "CVE and the Role of Anthropology; Museum Anthropology "Detroit 1967 Matters"; "Voodoo and Revolution in Togo", J of Religon in Africa; Journal of Caribbean and Latin American Anthropology, "Beyond Orisha: Vodun in Haiti and Brazil"