Dr. Joy R. Bostic currently serves as the interim vice president for the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). She is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at CWRU and the founding director of the minor in African and African American Studies. She is also a program faculty member of the Women’s and Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies programs.
Bostic is the author of several book chapters and scholarly articles on race, gender and religion and is the author of African American Female Mysticism: Nineteenth-Century Religious Activism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Her forthcoming book, Performing Black Gods: Religion, Ritual and Resistance in African American Popular Culture (Routledge, 2020), explores religion, ritual and race in visual culture, music and dance. In addition, Bostic is a member of the Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race (TRRR) and is a co-editor of TRRR’s forthcoming volume Black Religious Landscapes (Peter Lang, 2020).
She received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Indiana University and went on to earn a Juris Doctor and Master of Arts in public policy and management from The Ohio State University. She attended Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary where she was awarded the Master of Divinity degree. After graduating from seminary, she was ordained a Christian minister at Second Baptist Church in Evanston, Illinois. While attending Garrett-Evangelical, she worked as a research assistant for the Religion in Urban America Project, an ethnographic study based at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In 2006, Bostic received a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary in the city of New York. While living in New York City, she served as an associate minister at Second Canaan Baptist Church and taught courses in theology and religion as an adjunct professor at Fordham University at Lincoln Center. She also worked as the coordinator of the Barnard Columbia Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center and was the executive director of the African American Task Force on Violence against Women, a community-based organization in Central Harlem.
An artist at heart, Professor Bostic is a student of dance, photography, and the textile arts.