Joseph Stuart is a scholar of African American history, particularly of the relationship between race, masculinity, freedom rights, and religion in the twentieth century Black Freedom Movement. His scholarship and pedagogy are built around establishing similarities, differences, and contingencies that reveal how groups fought for liberation in myriad ways. He assumes that there is no single movement or approach to Black freedom that can adequately the aims and desires of all Black communities—and that we do historical actors a disservice by flattening their decisions into binary categories. His book manuscript examines the Nation of Islam’s racial and masculine ideologies to understand how and why some Black American groups opposed integration in the mid-twentieth century United States. The project traces the Nation of Islam’s founding from its origins in Great Depression Detroit to its schism following the death of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1975 and its “restoration” under Louis Farrakhan in 1981.


2022     Ph.D. US History, University of Utah
2014     M.A. Religious Studies, University of Virginia
2012     B.A., American Studies, Brigham Young University


2018      “A More Powerful Effect upon the Body’: Early Mormonism’s Theory of Racial Redemption and American Religious Theories of Race,” Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture 87, no. 3 (Fall 2018): 768-796.

Book Chapters

2020     “Race and Gender in Mormonism: 1830-1978,” in The Routledge Handbook of  Mormonism and Gender (New York: Routledge, 2020), 26-37. (Co-authored with Amanda Hendrix-Komoto)

Public History Work

Century of Black Mormons Project (Research Associate)

Selected Conference Presentations

2023                 “Nothing but hard times’: The Nation of Islam’s Formation and the Failures of the New Deal Liberal State for Black Religious Migrants,” Organization of American Historians, Los Angeles, CA
2022                 “Creating a Nation for Black Men: Education, the State, and the Transformation of the Allah Temple of Islam,” American Academy of Religion, Denver, CO, November 2022|
2022                 “A Religion for Black Men: Warith Deen Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam, 1976-1981,” American Society for Church History, New Orleans, LA
2020                 “Revealing the ‘Invisible’: Historical Training, Practical Skillbuilding, and Process-Based Professional Development,” American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch, Portland, OR, August 2020 (COVID- 19)
2020                 “Their Religion Can be Defined as ‘Black Man’: The Nation of Islam’s Message of Black Masculinity, 1931-1958,” Organization of American Historians, Washington, D.C., April 2020 (COVID-19)
2020                 “Pedagogy, Primary Sources, and Teaching through Art,” BYU Church History Symposium, March 2020
2020                 “The Nation of Islam and Black Masculinity: Respectability, Gender, and Racial Formation,” African American Intellectual History Society, Austin, TX, March 2020

Monthly Newsletter

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