Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp


Laurie Maffly-Kipp joined the Center July 1, 2013. Her research and teaching focus on African-American religions, religion on the Pacific borderlands of the Americas, and issues of intercultural contact. Both her wealth of knowledge and her care for students will greatly enrich the Center and Washington University.

Maffly-Kipp’s publications are many and include: Religion and Society in Frontier California (Yale University Press, 1994), where she explored the nature of Protestant spiritual practices in Gold Rush California; articles on Mormon-Protestant conflicts in the Pacific Islands, African-Americans in Haiti and Africa, and Protestant outreach to Chinese immigrants in California; a recent volume of essays entitled Practicing Protestants: Histories of Christian Life in America, 1630-1965 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) with Leigh Schmidt and Mark Valeri; a co-edited collection of essays about Mormonism in the Pacific World, Proclamation to the People: Nineteenth-Century Mormonism and the Pacific Basin Frontier, (University of Utah press, 2008). Most recently she authored Setting Down the Sacred Past: African-American Race Histories (Harvard University Press, 2010); American Scriptures, a Penguin Classics anthology of sacred texts (Penguin, 2010); and Women’s Work, a co-edited collection of writings by African-American women historians (Oxford University Press, 2010). Currently she is working on a survey of Mormonism in American life that will be published by Basic Books.

Prior to joining the Center, Maffly-Kipp was with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she has taught in Religious Studies and American Studies since 1989. She received her BA from Amherst College in English and Religion (summa cum laude), and completed the PhD in American History at Yale University (1990). She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including a grant for a collaborative project on the History of Christian Practice from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., fellowships at the National Humanities Center, and an NEH Fellowship for University Professors.

Laurie Maffly-Kipp’s CV