Dr Xavier Pickett

Assistant Professor

Picture of Dr Xavier Pickett


Xavier Pickett is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies. Prior to joining NC State, he was an entrepreneur, Visiting Assistant Professor at New York University in the Department of Religious Studies, and held a residential doctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia‚Äôs Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies. Having a joint appointment between the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, and Africana Studies Program, Pickett teaches courses in both units at NC State. His research focuses on African American religion, politics, emotions and social movements like Black Power and #BlackLivesMatter. His current book project reconceptualizes the academic study of Black religion by shifting attention to affect, literature and the secular. He is also working on a new theory of Black rage that reevaluates its common misconceptions with historical, ethical and political import. 

Teaching and Research Interests

Theory & Method in Africana Religious Studies | Black Power | Emotions | Black Radical Thought | Secularism/Humanism/Atheism | Pragmatism | Politics and Political Theory | 19th & 20th century African American Literature | Moral Psychology | New Religious Movements | Sociology and Social Theory | 19th & 20th century African American History | African American Philosophy.

Funded Research

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


  • Ph.D. in Religion & Society from Princeton Theological Seminary