Lerone Martin

Lerone A. Martin

Director of American Culture Studies
Associate Professor of Religion and Politics, American Culture Studies, and African and African-American Studies
PhD, Emory University
research interests:
  • Religion and Politics in Twentieth Century US History
  • Religious Media
  • FBI
  • National Security
  • Freedom of Information Act Law

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
  • CB 1066
  • One Brookings Drive
  • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

Lerone Martin's teaching and research focus on religious and political history, the African American experience, the FBI, national security, and Freedom of Information Act Law.

Martin is the author of the award-winning Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Making of Modern African American Religion (New York University Press, 2014), which tracks the role of the phonograph in the shaping of African American religion, culture, and politics during the first half of the twentieth century. The book was the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize for outstanding scholarship in religious history by a first-time author from the American Society of Church History.

In support of his research, Martin has received a number of nationally recognized fellowships, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, The American Council of Learned Societies, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion. In 2014, Martin was selected for the Young Scholars in American Religion 2014-16 cohort as one of the top ten pre-tenure scholars in American Religion by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He has been a past research consultant for continuing education and recidivism at New York’s Sing Sing State Prison, as well as an instructor at Georgia’s Metro State Prison. His commentary and writing have appeared in popular media outlets such as the NBC Today Show, CNN, Religion Dispatches, Charisma, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The New York Times. 

Currently he is writing a book on the relationship between religion and national security in American history which will be published by Princeton University Press.

Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Shaping of Modern African American Religion

Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Shaping of Modern African American Religion