Xavier Pickett

Assistant Professor


Dr. Xavier Pickett is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies. Most recently, he was a Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University as well as an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at North Carolina State University. Prior to his academic career, he was an entrepreneur and worked in various industries holding positions in areas, such as e-commerce, finance, and marketing. He was also the founding program director for a youth development program for middle school age males of color residing in Newark, New Jersey.

He has taught at many of the leading institutions of higher education like Princeton University, University of Virginia, Princeton Theological Seminary, and New York University. His research focuses on religion, politics, emotions, ethics, technology, and social movements like Black Power and #BlackLivesMatter. He is currently working on two manuscripts. The first book, Black Irreligious: James Cone and the Affects and Aesthetics of Black Religious Radicalism, is about the making and mood of modern Black religious radicalism in the 20th and 21st centuries. The second book offers a new theory of Black rage that reevaluates its common misconceptions with historical, ethical and political import while distinguishing Black rage from other forms like white rage.


Selected Publications/Presentations:

2023, “Afterword: Beyond Opportunistic Blackness: Reclaiming Victor Andersons Religious Criticism Against the Spiritual Evacuation of BlacknessBlack Theology: An International Journal.

2023, Co-edited with Michael R. Fisher, Jr., Special Issue: “The Religious Situation of Black Studies: A Festschrift for Victor Anderson,” Black Theology: An International Journal.

2022, Whats Faith Got to Do with Political Theory/Theology?Political Theology journals website.

2019, “So When Did White Christian America Lose Its Mind?” The Bible for Normal People podcast.

2018, “Honoring the Sacred Fire of James Cone.” Black Perspectives.


Funded Research

His scholarly research has been widely recognized and supported by the Ford Foundation, Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia, Louisville Institute, Forum for Theological Exploration, and American Association of Blacks in Higher Education.


Academic Interests

Africana Religions; Theories and Methods of (Black) Religion; Black and Womanist Theologies; Ethics (and what some call) Moral Philosophy; Political Theory/Philosophy; Emotions & Affect Theory (and what some call) Moral Psychology; Pragmatism; Aesthetics; New Religious Movements; Sociology and Social Theory; African American Philosophy; Science & Technology, particularly machine learning; Black Radicalism (and what some call) Nationalism.