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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Jennifer O’Reilly

O'Reilly portrait

Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor

African American Studies

206 Sims Hall

Research Interests

  • Representations of Africana religions in the cultural imagination
  • Ethnographies and literatures of African diasporic belief systems
  • African American folklore and folk cultures
  • Cultural histories of Black spirituality, conjure, and folk medicine
  • Black women’s ethnographic and fictional writing, especially writing that experiments with formal and generic boundaries

Previous Positions

  • Southern Connecticut State University
  • Sacred Heart University
  • Liverpool John Moores University


‘“We’re more than just pins and dolls and seeing the future in chicken parts’: Race, Magic, and Religion in American Horror Story: Coven.’’ European Journal of American Culture, vol. 38, no. 1, 2019, pp. 29-41. 


  • Ph.D., Department of English, Liverpool John Moores University, 2019 Dissertation: “‘Belief in magic is older than writing’: An Examination of Ethnographic and Literary Representations of African-based Belief Systems in the United States, 1928- 1988.”
  • M.A., Department of History (Cultural History), University of Liverpool, 2014
  • B.A., Departments of English and History, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2012

Awards, honors, professional societies and board service

  • J. Philip Smith Outstanding Teaching Award Nominee, SCSU, Spring 2021
  • Postcolonial Studies Association Award for Conference Organization, July 2018
  • International Mobility Award, Liverpool John Moores University, August 2017